Heelys Inc has posted disappointing third quarter results, with profit slumping 44% and sales down by 31% as consumers start to tire of its wheeled sneakers which have been hit by a raft of safety scares in recent months.

For the three months to 30 September, net income fell to $6.6m, or $0.24 per share, from $11.8m, or $0.48 per share, in the same period last year.

Net sales slipped to $49.9m from $72.5m in the corresponding period a year ago.

Mike Staffaroni, president and chief executive officer, said the company is working "to improve the recent trends in our business and better position the company for the future.

"This includes introducing new and innovative wheeled footwear, opening new channels of distribution, increasing our international presence, and diversifying our business with the launch of new products and categories."

The company expects 2007 sales to be flat compared to 2006 and net income for the fourth quarter to be roughly breakeven.

Last month Heelys revealed plans for its first ever non-wheeled shoe collection, as well as a new range of footwear styles including a hiking-style boot.

The company is trying to broaden its appeal outside its teens and tweens consumer base, and offset claims that the sneakers, which let wearers change from walking to skating, have caused a spate of injuries.