Sports shoe chain Foot Locker has reported a rise in third-quarter sales, but warned on profit because of hurricane-related expenses.

Foot Locker third-quarter same-store sales rose 2.7 per cent, while net sales edged up 3.0 per cent to $1.4 million from $1.4m last year.

Same-store sales for the first nine months of the year grew 2.2 per cent, while net sales increased 7.0 per cent to $4.1m from $3.8m in 2004.

Foot Locker cited a mid-single digit increase at its combined US businesses, led by strong increases at Footaction and Champs Sports. 

The company said recent initiatives within its European arm had led to a better sales trend compared to last year.

Chairman and chief executive officer Matthew Serra said: "These initiatives included increasing our promotional posture in select European markets - a strategy designed to reduce our inventory growth rate and better compete in a more competitive environment."

The company recorded a charge of $4m in connection with damage caused by the recent US hurricanes.
   
Foot Locker presently predicts third-quarter net income of $0.39 to $0.41 per share.

The company is a specialty athletic retailer that operates about 4,000 stores in 20 countries in North America, Europe and Australia.