Department store chain Dillard's Inc has reported a wider net loss for the 13 weeks ended 30 October 2004, with August and September sales affected by the Florida hurricanes.

Net loss in the period totalled $18.7 million, compared to a net loss of $15.8m in last year's quarter.

Sales dropped 4 per cent to $1.699 billion from $1.765bn in the 2003 period. Same-store sales also fell 4 per cent.

Sales in the eastern region were negatively affected by the severe weather conditions throughout August and September the company said.