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    Kmart Holding Corp. Sees Less Loss in Third Quarter

    TROY, Mich. - Kmart Holding Corporation said today its third quarter third-quarter loss narrowed although sales fell.

    TROY, Mich. - Kmart Holding Corporation said today its third quarter third-quarter loss narrowed although sales fell.

    For the 13 weeks ended Oct. 29, Kmart reported a net loss of $23 million, or ($0.26) per share. Its predecessor company, Kmart Corp., lost $383 million, or 76 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

    Loss before interest, reorganization items, income taxes and discontinued operations was $10 million for the third quarter of 2003, versus a loss of $328 million in the same period a year ago.

    Meanwhile net sales for the third quarter were $5.092 billion, a decrease of 21.2 percent from $6.459 billion a year ago. On a same-store basis, sales declined 8.6 percent for the third quarter of 2003, compared to the third quarter of 2002.

    Kmart attributed the decrease in same-store sales primarily to the year-over-year comparison with several company-wide promotional events that were taking place a year ago, and the reduction in the frequency of mid-week advertising circulars in the current year. The company closed 316 stores during the first quarter of fiscal 2003.

    "We continue to actively manage our business in a disciplined fashion steadily increasing our margin realization, reducing operating costs, enhancing the productivity of our assets and improving the overall store experience for our customers," said Julian C. Day, president and CEO of Kmart.

    As of October 29, 2003, Kmart had approximately $0.9 billion in cash and cash equivalents, and borrowing availability of approximately $1.6 billion on its $2 billion credit facility inclusive of outstanding letters of credit. In light of its favorable liquidity position, the company has since voluntarily reduced the size of its credit facility to $1.5 billion to reduce the overall cost of the facility.

    "The strength of our liquidity position is especially noteworthy, as we have progressed through the peak buying period for the holiday season with no direct borrowings drawn from our credit facility. In fact, at our point of lowest liquidity, the company had over $800 million in cash and cash equivalents," Day said.

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