Leading clothing group Guess? Inc on Wednesday revealed it swung to a fourth quarter loss as it was hit by restructuring charges and an 8.7 per cent slide in net revenue to $167.4 million from $183.4m in the year-ago period.

The California-based company posted a net loss of $4.6m versus a year-ago profit of $1.4m due to restructuring, impairment and severance charges of $8.5m. Excluding the charges, net profit was $1.7m.

For the full year, Guess? reported a net loss of $11.3m versus net earnings of $6.2m in 2001 amid the above mentioned restructuring costs of $9.2m and litigation settlement proceeds of $4.3m. Net revenue fell 13.9 per cent to $583.1 from $677.6m.

Carlos Alberini, president and COO, commented, "Given the ongoing difficult retail environment, we continue to focus on careful inventory control and expense management.

"At the same time, we are pursuing targeted initiatives across our product lines designed to improve our offerings and increase revenues. We are encouraged by the recent product changes we have made and see many opportunities to grow the top line in our business units.

"Moreover, with the steps we have taken to enhance the efficiency of our business model, we expect these gains to improve profitability."