Upmarket ladies' and men's wear retailer Harold's Stores Inc has reported a drop third-quarter profit to $649,000 from $1.0 million in the same period last year.

But the company says that in the year-to-date period ended 30 October 2004, profit was $198,000 versus a net loss of $3.3m in the same period last year. The previous year's results included $1.6m worth of expenses associated with store closings.

Third-quarter same-store sales decreased 4.7 per cent. Full-line retail comparable store sales decreased 5.0 per cent. Outlet comparable store sales increased 3.4 per cent.

Net sales for the quarter fell 3.2 per cent to $23.1m from $23.9m in the same period of the previous year.

Harold's Stores currently operates 41 upscale ladies' and men's specialty stores throughout the USA.