Revenues fell to $1.8 billion Canadian dollars ($1.39 billion at the time of publication), from CA$1.9 billion in the year-ago quarter. Retail sales alone dropped to CA$1.82 billion from CA$1.86 billion a year ago.
Total comps fell 1.7%, which included a 15% year-over-year rise in e-commerce, according to a company press release.
Gross profit margin declined 120 basis points to 38.3%. Net loss widened to CA$226 million from CA$161 million a year ago, the company said. Excluding one-time items and discontinued operations, net of taxes, the normalized net loss widened to CA$128 million, from CA$56 million in that metric a year ago.
HBC's third quarter was "noisy," as the company's interim CFO, Becky Roof, put it in speaking to analysts Tuesday.
There's a lot going on, including a significant downsizing of the company's real estate holdings both in North America and abroad. The company earlier this year shuttered its Canadian home retail business (one reason for a lift in those sales at namesake Hudson's Bay stores during the quarter, as noted by analysts in a conference call Tuesday), downsized its Saks Off 5th footprint and, most recently, sold off European holdings in the Netherlands and Germany.
But most dramatic is the tension around competing bids that would each take the company private. One is from a shareholder group led by HBC Governor Richard Baker, the other from Canadian private equity firm Catalyst Capital. The Baker group's offer of CA$10.30 per share in cash ($7.86 when the offer was made), enjoys the endorsement of the special committee of HBC's board tasked with evaluating, despite the fact that committee members found the bid low.
Part of their rationale centers on the absence of any alternative, although Catalyst swooped in after the committee's report to top the Baker offer. The days since then have entailed a dueling series of emails and press releases from both sides, with the board and the Baker group urging shareholders to bless their offer and Catalyst saying it should be rejected in favor of its own CA$11 per share bid.
The ongoing struggles in the business, aside from real estate and apart from the impending takeover, is necessitating a review of where the company can cut costs, CEO Helena Foulkes said. She hinted at downsizing in the labor force, including in the corporate ranks.
More broadly, she described a company focused on its Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores, which she called the company's "greatest opportunities."
"Whether we are a public or private company, our strategy remains the same," she told analysts on Tuesday.