Women' s wear importer and wholesaler Nitches Inc yesterday said net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2002 declined to $7.3 million, from $8.7 million for the third quarter of 2001. The company blamed a decrease in sleepwear and western wear sales and the general economic slowdown in the US.

Net profit for the quarter was $71,000 compared to net income of $359,000 for the year earlier period.

For the nine months ended 31 May 2002, net sales were $23.0 million versus $26.8 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2001. Net income was $72,000 for the first nine months of fiscal 2002, compared to net income of $997,000 for the year earlier period.

The board of directors approved a special dividend of $.05 per share.