Talbots Inc posted a much narrower-than-expected loss on Tuesday, a day after the women's apparel retailer decided to sell its J.Jill division to Golden Gate, and said it would cut corporate headcount across all locations by about 20 percent.

Talbots, which is majority owned by Japan's Aeon Co Ltd <8267.T>, said the job cuts were part of its strategy to save $150 million annually.

Shares of the company rose 8 percent to $5.40 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

In February, the company said it would cut 370 corporate jobs, or 17 percent of its corporate headcount, reduce the hours of workers in its stores and call centers and suspend its matching contributions to employees' 401(k) retirement accounts, all in an attempt to save costs.

The latest job cuts, which include cancelling out open positions, will result in yearly savings of $21 million, the company said on Tuesday.


For the first quarter ended May 3, net loss from continuing operations was $18.8 million, or 35 cents a share, compared with a net profit of $18.5 million, or 35 cents a share a year ago.

But excluding items, Talbots posted a loss of 23 cents a share, while analysts on average were expecting a loss of 49 cents a share.

Sales dropped to $306.2 million, from $414.8 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Inventories were down 21 percent per square foot, helping offset weak sales.

The company, whose clientele consists mainly of women above 35 years, also expects second-quarter loss from continuing operations between 50 to 58 cents a share.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 68 cents a share, excluding items.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)