Circuit City Stores Inc. said its loss narrowed in the first quarter of its fiscal year as it cut costs and renovated stores.

The loss at the second-largest U.S. electronics chain decreased to $5.9 million (3 cents a share) for the quarter ended May 31 from $46.7 million (23 cents) in the same period a year earlier, the Richmond-based retailer said.

Sales climbed 7 percent, to $2.06 billion from $1.93 billion, the biggest gain in more than a year. Circuit City increased same-store sales 6.4 percent and lowered costs after closing 19 unprofitable stores in February.

* Sherwood Brands Inc. said its third-quarter loss narrowed from the same quarter a year ago, when it wrote down $2.2 million worth of inventory.

The Rockville candy company said it lost $1.7 million (42 cents a share) in the third quarter of its fiscal year ended April 30, down from a loss of $2.75 million (69 cents). Revenue fell to $9.3 million from $9.5 million as the company transitions to foreign suppliers from in-house manufacturing.

For the nine months ended April 30, the company swung to a profit of $1.1 million (25 cents) on revenue of $44.2 million from a loss of $2.1 million (53 cents) on revenue of $47.3 million in the same period a year earlier.