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Talbots Trims 20% More Staff, Reports Loss

The women's apparel retailer said Tuesday it plans to cut headcount by an additional 20% in an effort to trim costs as it swung to a first-quarter loss.



plans to cut headcount by an additional 20% in an effort to trim costs as the women's apparel retailer swung to a first-quarter loss on a steep drop in sales.

Talbots said Tuesday the job cuts across all company locations will put it closer to its goal of saving $150 million. The latest round of cuts will save $21 million annually.

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The company reported a first-quarter loss of $23.6 million, or 44 cents a share, a swing from year-earlier net income of $1.6 million, or 3 cents a share. On a continuing operations basis, the loss in the quarter, including restructuring and impairment charges, was $18.8 million, or 35 cents a share, compared with year-earlier earnings of $18.5 million, or 35 cents a share.

Sales in the quarter fell to $306.2 million from $414.8 million a year earlier. Same-store sales in the quarter fell 27%.

The retailer announced Monday it had sold its J. Jill concept for about $75 million to a private-equity firm. It had paid about $517 million for J. Jill in 2006.

Talbots said it expects to report a loss from continuing operations in the second quarter of 50 cents to 58 cents a share, excluding charges.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Talbots to report a first-quarter loss of 49 cents a share and are estimating a second-quarter loss of 68 cents.