Fashion chain Casual Male Retail Group Inc on Thursday posted a big jump in its fourth quarter net loss as it was hit by restructuring charges related to its exit of its Levi's/Dockers and Candies businesses.

The Massachusetts-based company reported a net loss of $23.8 million, or 67 cents per share, versus a net loss of $7.8m, or 53 cents per share, in the year prior. The latest figure includes restructuring charges of $30.2m.

Excluding those reorganisation charges, the operator of 471 Casual Male Big & Tall stores would have posted a net profit of $6.4m, or 18 cents per share.

For the fiscal year ended February 1, it posted a net loss of $38.8m, or $1.54 per share, versus a net loss of $7.9m, or 54 cents per share in 2002 amid restructuring charges of $41.3m. Excluding those charges it would have reported a net profit of $2.5m, or 10 cents per share.

President and CEO, David Levin, said: "This past year was a year of substantial transformation of our company. Given the fact that the big and tall mens' apparel sector accounts for sales of approximately $5-$6 billion per year, we see substantial growth opportunities to increase the current seven per cent market share for our company.

"Since our acquisition, we have strategically reorganised our operations to focus primarily on the integration of Casual Male, cost reduction activities and improving operating efficiencies while growing our Casual Male business."

He continued: "Our previously announced decision to exit the Levi's and Dockers outlet business and to transfer ownership of the Candies outlet stores to Candies Inc, will enable us to focus our attention on and utilise our resources for expanding our profitable core Casual Male business.

"The company has made significant progress toward rightsizing Casual Male's cost structure, and the infrastructure improvements are in progress. Consequently, CMRG's operating margins should improve over the next several quarters."