NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Saks ( SKS) swung to a surprise profit in its third-quarter, as it drastically reduced its deep promotions.

The news sent shares jumping more than 5.5% in pre-market trading.

During the quarter, the high-end department store earned $1.93 million, or 1 cent a share, compared with a loss of $43.7 million, or 32 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected a loss of 11 cents a share.

Sales fell 8.5% to $631.4 million from $690.3 million, while same-store sales tumbled 10%.

While sales remain depressed, the company is seeing improving gross margins as it slashes its promotional activity. Gross margin rose to 40.3% from 35.7% during the quarter.

Saks saw strength in its women's designer sportswear category, jewelry and improvement in its New York flagship store.

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