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February 17, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Kmart Corp. Exec Foresees Return to Profitability: Chairman Floyd Hall, seeking to calm jittery suppliers, said in a letter that the Troy, Mich.-based discount retailer's worst days are over and that it will return to profitability this year. "The difficulties of 1995 are predominantly behind us, and we believe the operating results of the past 12 months represent the bottoming-out of Kmart's financial performance," Hall said in the letter. He said Kmart's improvement will be driven by an aggressive sales push this year. Hall noted, however, that the gross profit margin rate may erode further as sales rise, but he said the margin pressure will be offset by a reduction in the number of clearance items sold.

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