French lingerie and clothing chain Etam saw sales fall during the third-quarter on the back of weak end of season sales and the depreciation of the yuan against the euro.

The company said yesterday (20 October) that for the quarter ended 30 September, sales were down 3.8% to EUR269.4m (US$371m), and down 10.7% on a like-for-like basis. The company said that it was hit by a negative currency impact of EUR3.6m, which mainly related to the depreciation of the yuan against the euro.

In Europe, sales were down 7.2% for the quarter, with the company saying that its performance was "severely impacted" by the first week of the end-of-season sales in France being brought forward to 22 June from 30 June last year. It blamed the move for the 13.2% decline in like-for-like sales over the period.

In China, sales rose 3.9% to EUR89.3m. At constant exchange rates, like-for-like sales were down 2.8% when compared with the same period of the previous year.

The company said that although negative, its sales evolution on winter 2011 collections in France "outperformed the French women's clothing market in specialist chains, which sustained a sharp fall throughout the third quarter".

"The Etam Group has geared itself up to deal with uncertain consumption in Europe in a challenging economic climate and to benefit from China's growth. It is taking the commercial and management steps needed to uphold all its commitments," the company said.