Toys R Us posts Q1 loss

Sales increase despite losses rising to $67 million.
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In the 13 weeks to April 30th 2011, the toy retailer saw international sales total $2.6 billion, a like-for-like increase of 1.1 per cent. 

In the same period last year, the loss stood at $55 million.

The learning toy and core toy categories grew 7.9 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively, while entertainment and video games suffered a 6.6 per cent drop.

Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO said: “Planned increases associated with investments made during this smaller, off-peak quarter for our business will position the company well for the balance of the year and for the future. At the same time, the team focused on product differentiation and margin improvement, delivering strong gross margin growth.” 

Breaking down the figures, net sales in the US totaled $1,643 million compared to $1,671 million in the previous Q1 period. 

Internationally, sales saw a six per cent like-for-like boost, reaching $993 million.

The firm reported that internet business "continued to be strong."

In the statement, Storch detailed the firm's strategy for the coming year and beyond: "In the first quarter, we made important investments, including preparations to open a new west coast distribution center to support the continued strong growth of our e-commerce operations, the additional conversions of our stores to an integrated format offering both toy and juvenile products, and the implementation of other key strategic initiatives."

He added: "As we continue to look for ways to improve the customer shopping experience, we are committed to strengthening our multichannel capabilities, allowing consumers to shop with us anytime from anywhere."

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