Jones Apparel Group today (22 January) lowered its full-year earnings guidance after being forced to discount its clothing as the retail environment "significantly worsened" during its fourth quarter. 

The firm, which owns brands including Nine West, Anne Klein and Jones New York, said it now expects to report full-year earnings per share in a range of $0.85 to $0.88, down from earlier forecasts for $0.93 to $0.98 per share.

This compares with earnings per share of $1.26 in fiscal 2007.

Wesley R Card, group president and chief executive officer, said: "Conditions significantly worsened as the quarter ended. The resulting increase in promotional activity by our customers and in our own retail operations impacted our results."

For the fourth quarter the company expects to report a loss per share in the range of $0.03 to $0.06, compared with earnings per share of $0.09 in the same period last year.