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David’s Tea earned $1.1-million or four cents a share, down from $1.4-million or six cents a share in the first quarter of 2014.Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail

DavidsTea Inc. says it lost $93.2-million (U.S.) in the first quarter, just ahead of becoming a publicly traded company.

The Montreal-based company reported after markets closed that its loss was equivalent to $7.73 per diluted share for the period ended May 2. That compared with a $1.4-million or seven-cents-per-share profit in the comparable prior-year period.

Excluding one-time costs, including those related to its initial public offering, DavidsTea earned $1.1-million or four cents a share, down from $1.4-million or six cents a share in the first quarter of 2014.

Sales grew 29 per cent to $35.8-million as comparable sales for stores open at least a year grew 6.3 per cent.

The company opened seven new stores in the quarter, raising its North American total to 161, including 136 in Canada.

Chief executive Sylvain Toutant said the company is differentiating itself in the growing specialty tea market and has a potential for 550 stores in North America.

On the Nasdaq, DavidsTea shares closed up seven per cent at US$29.16 on Tuesday, more than a third above the IPO price.

The company's founders, David and Herschel Segal, sold 5.1 million shares out of the 23.16 million available. Herschel Segal also founded the Le Château clothing chain.

DavidsTea realized $68.5-million in net proceeds from the IPO, which was used in part to repay debt.

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

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