(Adds details of earnings report, background)
By Nichola Saminather
TORONTO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Canadian department store chain Hudson's Bay Co reported a wider third-quarter loss on Wednesday on higher depreciation and amortization expenses and foreign exchange losses.
HBC, the owner of the Saks Fifth Avenue luxury retailer reported a net loss from continuing operations of C$124 million ($93.36 million), or 52 Canadian cents a share, for the three months ended Nov. 3, compared with a loss of C$116 million, or 64 cents, a year earlier.
Including Hudson's Bay's European operations, which are in a joint venture with Austrian Signa Holding, the company posted a net loss of C$164 million, or 69 Canadian cents a share, narrowing from C$243 million, or C$1.33 a share, a year earlier.
Gross margin improved 10 basis points from the same quarter a year earlier.
Hudson's Bay has embarked on a mission to boost flagging sales under Chief Executive Officer Helena Foulkes, who took on the role early this year, as it combats market share erosion by e-commerce behemoth including Amazon.com Inc.
The company sold its unprofitable online brand Gilt and has said it will further shrink the footprint of its struggling Lord & Taylor chain after selling its flagship store in Manhattan to shared workspace provider WeWork Cos Inc.
Still for some investors the measures haven't gone far enough. Hedge fund Land & Buildings, long a thorn in the company's side, said last week that HBC has failed to take decisive steps to unlock shareholder value, adding it continued to trade at a fraction of its estimated real estate value of C$$31 per share.
HBC shares closed at C$9.04 on Tuesday, down almost 20 percent this year, surpassing the Toronto stock benchmark's 7 percent decline.
Land & Buildings called for the company to sell Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor and its 50 percent interest in the European joint venture to Signa. The hedge fund said it may call for a special shareholder meeting to bring about changes to the company's board. The hedge fund owned 5 percent of HBC in July 2017, its last disclosure.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization jumped 58 percent to C$63 million on sales growth and improved gross margin, beating estimates of C$54.2 million.
Saks Fifth Avenue posted a 7.3 percent increase in same-store sales during the quarter, helping offset declines of 2.4 percent and 2.3 percent in HBC's department store group and the Saks OFF 5th divisions and lifting revenue by 5.6 percent to C$2.2 billion.
The department store group includes the Hudson's Bay, Lord & Taylor and Home Outfitters brands. ($1 = 1.3282 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)