Talbots Inc posted a quarterly loss on Wednesday that was not as deep as expected, signaling that the retailer's attempts to turn around its business through cost-cutting efforts and better merchandising are paying off.

The company, which sells traditional clothing styles to women and is majority owned by Japan's Aeon Co Ltd <8267.T>, posted a net loss of $24.5 million, or 45 cents per share, for the second quarter ended on August 1, compared with a net loss of $25 million, or 47 cents, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring and impairment charges, the company lost $17.6 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with a loss of $9.4 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts, on average, had expected a loss of 52 cents per share on that basis, while Talbots had forecast a loss of 50 cents to 58 cents per share.

Sales from continuing operations fell 23 percent to $304.6 million. Sales at stores open at least a year plunged 24.9 percent.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl, additional reporting by Alexandria Sage in San Francisco)