Athletic apparel maker Everlast Worldwide Inc has seen its third quarter net sales fall to $16.1 million, down from $16.9m recorded a year earlier.

The New York-based brand also saw net sales for the first nine months of the year slip to $41.4m, compared to $47.4m earned in the same period a year ago.

Chairman and CEO George Horowitz said the company's results had remained "positive" despite a "challenging" retail market.

"Our slight decrease in net sales for the quarter was the result of a customer who became a licensee in 2003," he said.

Everlast is a manufacturer, marketer and licenser of sports-related clothing, with sales to more than 20,000 retail outlets across North America and worldwide distribution.