US discount retailer Kmart has reported a second-quarter net profit, compared to a year-earlier net loss.

The company posted net income of US$155m, or $1.54 per share, for the second quarter to 28 July, compared to a net loss of $5m, or 6 cents per share, for the same period of 2003.

Total sales for the 13-week period decreased 15.3% compared to a year earlier, while same-store sales fell 14.9%.

“We are pleased with our continued progress and ability to deliver consistent profit. We have continued to focus on process changes that simplify the operations of our stores and distribution centres, including improving merchandise flow and lowering inventory levels which result in lower shrink expense, lower clearance and promotional markdowns and lower payroll expenses,” said chief executive Julian Day.