Canadian fashion retailer Reitmans has reported strong results for the first quarter of 2022, with Covid-19 related restrictions being eased in the country.

Sales for the 13 weeks ending on 1 May grew to $121.3m, an increase of 49.2% compared to the first quarter of the previous year.

The company saw an increase in its e-commerce sales despite an overall net reduction of 30 stores.

During the quarter, Reitmans’ gross profit increased by $31.3m to $59.9m, compared with the $28.6m recorded in the first quarter of the previous year.

The company’s gross profit, as a percentage of sales for the quarter, increased from 35.2% to 49.4%.

The increases in gross profit and as a percentage of sales were mainly due to lower discounts and promotional activity among other factors.

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By GlobalData

As of 1 May, Reitmans closed 181 of its stores, 44% of its entire store portfolio, due to lockdown restrictions put in place by the government.

The company closed all its stores for a total of 47 consecutive days, during which its e-commerce business stayed operational.

During the quarter, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from Reitmans’ continuing operations was an income of $6.7m, compared with a loss of $19.5m.

In a statement, the company said: “During the first quarter of 2022, our measures to protect our financial situation continued to include furloughing retail sales associates during temporary store closures and obtaining financial assistance from the federal Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) programmes.

“These measures, together with financial assistance, partially mitigated the financial impact of Covid-19 on our business.”

The company’s Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity banners, which were closed during the year ending on 30 January, reported no earnings.

In April, Reitmans reported a 24.4% decline in sales to $533.4m for the year ending on 30 January, compared to $705.5m for the previous year.

As of 1 May, the company operated 245 Reitmans stores, 92 Penningtons stores and 78 RW&CO stores, adding up to 415 stores in total.