Tailored clothing retailer Hartmarx Corporation is to axe 150 jobs in a bid to reduce costs after reporting a third quarter loss of US$2.4m.

The $2.4m loss compared to a net profit of $0.5m in last year's third quarter.

The US company's revenues for the three months to 31 August fell 8.3% to $124m.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, revenues were down 8.9% to $374.5m, and the company swung to a net loss of $7.4m from a profit of $2.5m last year.

Describing the results as "very disappointing", Hartmarx chairman and CEO Homi B Patel said they were reflective of the challenging economic and retail environment.

"Low consumer confidence, declines in discretionary apparel purchases particularly by professional men, volatility in the financial services sector, large retailers' requests to defer advance order shipments and the deteriorating credit worthiness of small speciality store operators - all contributed to a very difficult quarter," said Patel.

Hartmarx's declines were exacerbated, he added, by the residual effects of its strategy of reducing its offer of moderately priced tailored products.

The company is also to close a sewing facility in Missouri with the loss of about 150 jobs, and is planning to reduce leased office and distribution square footage.

Hartmarx is now projecting full-year revenues of $490-500m and fourth quarter sales of $115-125m, down 12% and 20% respectively on last year's figures.

The company envisages a fourth quarter loss of $0.05-0.10 per share, and a full-year loss of $0.25-0.35 per share.