Struggling retailer Sears Holdings Corp. Thursday reported a loss for the second quarter that widened from a year ago, however, the company reported an improvement in same-store sales. Shares were up 23 percent in after-hours trading.

The company reported a second-quarter loss of 508 million dollars or $4.68 per share, wider than last year's loss of 250 million dollars or 2.33 dollars per share.

The company's revenues for the quarter dropped to 3.2 billion dollars from 4.3 billion dollars a year ago, with store closures again significantly contributing to the year over year decline.

Total comparable store sales declined 3.9 percent during the quarter, reflecting Kmart comparable store sales declining 3.7 percent, and Sears comparable store sales declining 4.0 percent.

In addition to delivering improvement in comparable stores sales trend in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, the retailer achieved positive comparable store sales in several categories at both Kmart and Sears formats, including apparel, footwear and jewelry, the company said.

CEO Edward Lampert said, "While we are encouraged by the improved comparable stores sales trend we experienced in the second quarter, and the positive comparable store sales of 3.0 percent and 2.5 percent achieved in the months of July and August, respectively, we have yet to achieve our goal of returning the company to profitability.

"We continue to close unprofitable stores, and we are hopeful that we can stabilize our store base at a meaningful level in the near future. Our goal is to right-size our store footprint to a solid base from which we can operate and grow profitably, while leveraging our online and Shop Your Way platforms."

"As we enter the second half of 2018, we remain focused on identifying additional opportunities to streamline operations and reduce operating expenses while staying focused on our Best Members, Best Categories and Best Stores." (dpa)