Leather and suede clothing maker and retailer Danier Leather Inc on Wednesday posted a sharp slide in third quarter profit amid weak consumer spending and shipment delays caused by avalanches and a train smash.

The Toronto-based company reported a net profit of C$454,000 for the quarter to March 29 versus C$2.5 million in the year-ago period, with sales down 11 per cent to C$41.4m from C$46.5m in early 2002.

Danier Leather said same-store sales for the latest quarter fell 15 per cent due to soft demand for apparel amid global economic uncertainty.

"The third quarter was a very a difficult one for a number of reasons," said president and CEO, Jeffrey Wortsman. "The combination of lingering economic uncertainty and the war in Iraq contributed to a decline in store traffic and sales.

"In addition, a shipment of merchandise delayed by a train derailment and avalanches in Western Canada resulted in the cancellation of a promotional flyer and lost sales.

"These factors, along with higher expenses associated with strategic investments in support of Danier's expansion plans, made for an unusually tough quarter."