(Adds details on results, background on activist shareholder)
TORONTO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Hudson's Bay Co reported a steeper-than-forecast quarterly loss but slightly better-than-expected retail sales, as new store openings and a favorable foreign exchange impact offset fewer shoppers and more sales promotions at its stores.
The department store operator, which is under pressure from an activist shareholder to focus on its real estate holdings, also said it continued to evaluate all opportunities for its properties. Among its holdings are the Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor retail chains.
HBC's total sales rose 1.2 percent to C$3.29 billion, compared with analysts' expectations of C$3.26 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Online sales rose 12.7 percent from a year ago.
Total comparable sales fell 1.3 percent on a constant currency basis, slightly better than the average 1.4 percent decline that three analysts expected.
Among HBC's different segments, comparable sales at Saks Fifth Avenue rose 1.7 percent, its largest quarterly increase in more than two years.
Despite higher comparable sales at Hudson's Bay that were bolstered by online sales, the overall department store group fell 1.6 percent as fewer customers shopped at Lord & Taylor in the United States.
Lower traffic also hurt comparable sales in Europe and at HBC Off Price, which includes its OFF 5th and Gilt brands. Off Price comparable sales were down 2.3 percent, while Europe fell 2.8 percent.
Comparable online sales rose 11 percent on a constant currency basis, or 19.8 percent when e-commerce store, Gilt, was excluded.
HBC posted a net loss of C$201 million, or C$1.10 a share, more than the C$142 million or 78 Canadian cents-a-share net loss reported a year ago.
Analysts had expected a net loss of C$116.1 million, or 60 Canadian cents a share.
Last quarter, the company said it was slashing about 2,000 jobs across North America as it reported a steeper-than-expected drop in quarterly retail sales. The company said on Tuesday the restructuring plan would have a much larger impact on its second-half results.
($1 = 1.2371 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Cooney)