Apparel and sportswear maker Haggar Corp has lowered its guidance for the first quarter of 2005 after poor Christmas sales and the failure of new line ForeverNew to meet expectations.

The company now predicts sales for the quarter ended 31 December 2004 to total around $100.5 million, compared to a previous forecast of $102-$107m. Last year the company reported sales of $107.7m in the first quarter.

First-quarter net loss is expected to total $3.3m compared to previous guidance of $1.5-$1.9m.

The loss includes a rise in selling, general and administrative expenses related to a wrongful termination lawsuit against the company totalling $1.7m pre-tax.

Last year, the company saw first-quarter net earnings of $1.2m.

Haggar also said it had  been forced to give "significantly more markdown assistance than planned."