Express Inc. said Thursday that it is closing its 17 stores in Canada and discontinuing Canadian operations through its Express Fashion Apparel Canada Inc. subsidiary. The company entered the Canadian market in 2011. As a result, Express Canada has filed an application for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Store-closing sales will begin mid-May. For the fiscal year ending Jan. 28, 2017, Express Canada had net sales of about $34 million and contributed a net loss of about $6 million. Express expects a pre-tax loss in the range of $28 million to $34 million driven by the write-down of the Express Canada investment and associated costs. The company will incur first-quarter charges of about $6 million and the remaining $22 million to $28 million in the second quarter. The company anticipates tax benefits in the range of $14 million to $16 million, about $7 million of which will be in the first quarter. Express expects net losses in the range of $14 million to $18 million in 2017. About $1 million will be in the first quarter. Express shares are down 1.7% in premarket trading, and down 50% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 16.4% for the last 12 months.
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