US Sears Canada 20140514

Sears Canada's loss got bigger in the past quarter. In the same period a year ago, the company made more than $100 million. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Sears Canada Inc. reported a net loss of $21.3 million, or 21 cents per share, in the second quarter, compared to a profit of $152.8 million, or $1.50, in the same period last year.

The struggling retail chain says the quarter was impacted by expenses related to severance costs and impairment charges but was helped by a gain related to the sale of the company's interest in a Quebec shopping centre and gains related to settling some retirement benefits. Last year, its second quarter had benefited from a large gain from early lease terminations.

Sears says total revenues for the 13-week period ended Aug. 2, was $845.8 million compared to $960.1 million year-over-year.

Same-store sales, a key measure in retail, dropped 6.8 per cent, which the company attributed partly to an unseasonably cool spring that deterred customers.

The retailer says it remains on track to get its inventory ready for the busy back-to-school and fall season.

One way it has done this is by taking an aggressive stance with clearing old inventory and surplus spring merchandise by offering big markdowns. Compared to a year ago, it has reduced its spring and summer inventory by 20 per cent compared to this time last year.