reports that Target will be feeling the financial pain for a while from December's data-breach. The retailer said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit slumped 46 percent. It also reported that revenue slipped 5.3 percent as the breach scared off customers.
During the holiday shopping season, personal data from millions of Target customers was stolen by hackers who targeted credit card terminals in its stores. The incident has scared shoppers away, and the company says its profits will be affected well into 2014.
"As we plan for the new fiscal year, we will continue to work tirelessly to win back the confidence of our guests. ... We are encouraged that sales trends have improved in recent weeks," Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target, said in a statement.
The data breach comes on top of other woes for the retailer, including already sluggish sales in the U.S. and a disappointing foray into Canada. Revenue fell to $21.5 billion from $22.7 billion. Revenue at stores open at least a year, an important retail measurement, fell 2.5 percent.
The breach resulted in $17 million of net expenses in the fourth quarter, Target said, with $61 million of total expenses partially offset by the recognition of a $44 million insurance receivable. The company said it can't yet estimate how much more the data breach will cost. Target said expenses may include payments to card networks to cover losses and expenses for reissuing cards, lawsuits, government investigations and enforcement proceedings.