Clothing retailer Etam Developpement is considering the sale of its UK retail division Etam Plc, after UK sales slumped 9.5 per cent to £174 million in 2004.

The chain, which operates 200 stores throughout the UK, has seen profits plunge over recent years as high-street competition has intensified within the low-price fashion sector.

Advisors are reviewing the company's options, which include a possible sale of the business. However, industry experts have warned that interest in the flagging brand is likely to be limited.

Etam's UK store business posted an operating loss of €19.9m for the six months ended June 2004, compared with a loss of €12.9m in the same period last year.

Despite strengthening its management team and setting out plans to revamp its plus-size collection in 2004, the company has so far failed to turn around its fortunes.

Etam Développement operates the Etam, 123 and Tammy chains, which sell ready-to-wear clothing, lingerie and accessories in 1375 stores in Europe and China,

UK division Etam Plc sells women's wear, girls' wear, boys' wear and men's wear under Etam and Tammy brand names through its 216 branches in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.