Catalogue and direct marketer of women's and men's apparel, Blair Corp, on Monday said it swung to a third quarter profit despite a slide in sales as it benefited from lower costs and improved margins.

The Pennsylvania-based company said net income for the quarter ended September 30, 200 was $279,386 compared to a net loss of $3.3 million in the year-ago period, although net sales slipped to $117.8m from $123m.

"Blair's net results were achieved by a significant reduction in overall operating expenses and cost of goods sold," said CFO and SVP Bryan Flanagan in a statement.

"The increase in net results reflects the company's ability to purchase merchandise more cost effectively and better manage inventory. Blair's enhanced inventory management capabilities significantly contributed to the reduction of the amount of merchandise sold at discounted prices in order to liquidate inventory."