Plus-size women's apparel retailer United Retail Group Inc has posted a drop in fourth quarter net sales to $101.4 million, compared to $105.7m in the same period a year earlier.

The New Jersey-based company, which operates 535 stores under the Avenue banner, also reported a two per cent dip in comparable store sales for the three-month period.

Net losses, meanwhile, were $4m, compared to $16.1m in fourth quarter 2002.
According to CEO Raphael Benaroya, the largely decreased fourth quarter results capped off "a year of transition" for the company.

"We worked to implement the repositioning strategy that we announced early in the year," he said.

"As part of this strategy, we are transforming the product composition and rationalising our vendor base accordingly.

"In addition, we slowed capital expenditures and improved inventory management to yield faster returns."