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Toys R Us 1st quarter net-loss widens

WAYNE, N.J. (AP) -- Toys R Us said Friday its first-quarter loss widened, hurt by continued weakness in the video game sector and cool weather.

Toys R Us, the largest specialty toy retailer in the U.S., has struggled with softer sales due to tough competition from online retailers and discounters at a time when consumer spending remains tepid. The company's CEO Gerald Storch stepped down in February.

Interim CEO Antonio Urcelay said Toys R Us is committed to increasing its online offerings, expanding globally — including in China and Southeast Asia — and offering a wider variety of products.

Its loss for the three months ended May 4 grew to $111 million, compared with a loss of $60 million a year ago.

First-quarter revenue was hurt by weakness in seasonal products and electronics, video game hardware and software. It fell 8 percent to $2.41 billion from $2.61 billion a year earlier.

Revenue in stores open at least one year fell 8.4 percent in the U.S. and 5.8 percent internationally. The figure is an important gauge of a retailer's health, because it strips out stores that have opened or closed in the past year and measures growth at existing locations.

Privately held Toys R Us is based in Wayne, N.J., and operates 870 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.