Alan H. Cohen, President and Chief Executive Officer of

The Finish Line, Inc (Nasdaq:FINL) has announced the company results for the third quarter representing the thirteen weeks ended November 25, 2000. 

Net sales in the comapny increased 11 per cent to $134.5m compared to $120.8m for the same quarter last year. Comparable store net sales increased approximately two per cent for the third quarter versus a decline of four per cent reported last year.

The net loss for the quarter was $2.5m compared to a net loss of $2.3m reported last year. The diluted loss per share was $0.10 versus a diluted loss of $0.09 for the previous year.

For the year to date the company's net sales increased 13 per cent to $471.7m compared to $419.1m for the same 39 weeks last year.

Comparable store net sales increased approximately two per cen for versus a decline of three per cent reported last year.

Net income so far this year has decreased eight per cent to $8.4m compared with net income of $9.1m last year. Diluted earnings per share were $0.34, which is a decline of six per cent compared to $0.36 per share reported for last year.

President and chief executive officer, Mr Alan H Cohen said, "Our loss per share of $0.10 reported above is within the guidance range we announced in our sales release on November 30th."

"Our footwear sales for the quarter performed above plan due to considerable strength in the men's and children's categories. As also reported in our sales release, the environment in athletic specialty apparel retailing remains promotional."

"We continue to perform below plan in the apparel category putting added pressure on our ability to leverage SG&A expenses and negatively affecting our apparel margin. We remain cautious about apparel sales performance for the current holiday season and continue to emphasize our footwear business and reduce our investment in the under performing apparel category," he added.