Third-quarter income at youth clothing retailer Hot Topic Inc has fallen to $12.6 million or $0.27 per diluted share, from $15.3m or $0.31 per diluted share for the same period in 2003.

Net sales for the quarter rose 12 per cent to $180.8m from $161.5m in the same quarter last year. Same-store sales fell 4.2 per cent in the quarter compared to the same quarter in 2003.

For the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2004, earnings per share dropped 10 per cent, with net income totalling $22.6m or $0.47 per diluted share, compared to $25.6m or $0.52 per diluted share for the same period last year.

Net sales for the 39 weeks ended 30 October 2004 rose 18 per cent to $445.2m, from $377.9m for the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2003. Same-store sales fell 1.3 per cent.