Women's wear maker Marisa Christina Incorporated on Monday reported a 9.2 per cent drop in second-quarter net sales, and said the decrease was primarily due to timing differences, whereby some sales were shipped in the first quarter of 2004.

Net sales for the quarter were $2.5 million compared with $2.8 million in the second quarter of 2003.

Net sales were level at $8.1 million for the six months ended 30 June 2004 and 2003 the company said in a statement.

Gross profit for the second quarter of 2004 was $238,000 compared with the second quarter of 2003, when the gross profit was $405,000.

Operating expenses for the second quarter of 2004 were $1.5 million compared with $1.7 million in the second quarter of 2003, a reduction of 11 per cent.

The second quarter of 2004 showed a net loss of $748,000 compared to the second quarter of 2003 net loss of $706,000. For the first six months of 2004 and 2003 the net loss was $1.0 million.

Michael H Lerner, chairman of Marisa Christina Inc, said: "We fully expected this loss since the second quarter is historically the weakest. Our sales volume for the first half of 2004 is level with the previous year, as anticipated."