AEON-owned Talbots posted a $20.5m (£12.3m) net loss from continuing operations for the quarter ended August 1, compared with last year’s loss of $12m (£7.2m).

Net sales for the quarter were $304.6m (£182.5m), compared with $395.2m (£236.7m) last year. Talbots president and chief executive Trudy Sullivan said: “We are beginning to see greater benefit from the strategic initiatives we put in place.

“We ended the second quarter with a substantial reduction in operating expenses and a solid increase in merchandise margin, all of which contributed to a significantly better-than-expected bottom-line performance.”