Leading US-based speciality chain of women's apparel stores, Cache Inc, today attributed a slight fall in same store sales during the third quarter to last month's terrorist attacks.

The company, which operates 223 stores, posted a 1.3 per cent fall in sales for the 13 weeks to September 29, while net loss decreased from $1.23 million, or $.14 per share in fiscal 2000, to just over $1m, or $.11 per share in fiscal 2001.

September same store sales slumped five per cent, mainly due to the airline attacks on New York and Washington.

However, net income for the 39 week period increased from $65,000, or $.01 per share in fiscal 2000 to $818,000 or $.09 per share in fiscal 2001.

Net sales rose by $4.9m, or four per cent, while same store sales increased 1.8 per cent for the period. The improved results for the 39 week period were primarily attributable to a favourable litigation settlement, which had the effect of increasing results in the first quarter of fiscal 2001 by approximately $964,000, or $.10 per share

Commenting on the results, chairman Brian Woolf said: "Cache's third quarter loss was predominantly due to lower September sales, resulting from the tragic events on September 11.

"Nevertheless, our operating results for the quarter improved over last year. On a positive note, this quarter's balance sheet has greatly improved over a year ago."