Leading outer wear manufacturer and distributor, G-III Apparel Group Ltd, on Friday posted a sharp fall in second quarter net income amid plunging sales.

The New York-based firm, which has fashion licenses with Kenneth Cole Productions, Nine West Group, Timberland and Cole Haan, said net profit slumped to $576,000 from $3.9 million in the year-ago period and sales fell to $40m from $62.9m.,

For the fiscal year ending January 31, 2003, the company expects diluted net income per share of $0.95 and $1.00 on sales of around $190m.

CEO Morris Goldfarb said: "Sales were down versus the prior year, as an ongoing trend toward shipments occurring closer to selling-floor needs caused some expected revenues to be pushed into the third quarter.

"While the retail environment continues to be challenging, we are meeting our booking goals and believe that our second half results for the year will be strong."

He added: "Our Sports Licensing, Sean Jean and Timberland lines are receiving particularly strong responses from retailers. We continue to believe that Sports Licensing is going to be a key component of our success over the next couple of years."