Ladies' wear company Bernard Chaus Inc has posted third-quarter sales and profit decreases, blaming it on a challenging retail environment.

Third-quarter sales fell 5.0 per cent to $41.6 million from $43.7m in the same quarter last year, while profit totalled $1.0m compared to $1.8m a year ago.

Josephine Chaus, chairwoman and chief executive officer, said that after a decline in the company's core business it now expects to incur a loss for the fourth quarter and the current financial year.

Bernard Chaus Inc designs, sources and markets an extensive range of women's career and casual sportswear, principally under the Josephine Chaus, Chaus, Cynthia Steffe and Cynthia Steffe trademarks, as well as private label.