US department store chain Gottschalks Inc has narrowed its third quarter losses, boosted by anniversary promotions, inventory management initiatives, and the refinancing of its credit facility.

The company reported a third-quarter net loss of $1.4 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, down from a net loss of $2.6m, or $0.20 per diluted share for the third quarter last year.

Third-quarter same-store sales rose 1.8 per cent, whilst total sales increased 1.4 per cent to $147.9m from $145.9m for the 2003 quarter.

For the first nine months of 2004, the company posted a net loss of $3.1m, or $0.24 per diluted share, versus a loss of $6.6m, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the same period in 2003.

Net loss from continuing operations for the first nine months totalled $5.9m, or $0.45 per diluted share

For the year so far, same-store sales are 1.7 per cent ahead of last year. Total sales have risen 0.4 per cent to $440.2m, from $438.5m in the same period last year.