Women's fashion retailer New York & Company recorded a US$16m loss in its third quarter, citing its decision to exit the low-earning JasmineSola business.

The US company announced in October that it would exit the 23-store JasmineSola chain at the end of fiscal 2007, prompting charges of $21.1m in the three months ended 3 November.

Net sales for the company as a whole increased 5.9% to $287m, with New York & Company's net sales up 6.3% to $276.4m, but JasmineSola recording a net sales fall of 2.9% to $10.6m.

The company's net loss was $16m - compared to a net income the year before of $9.6m - but this mostly accounted for by the charges related to JasmineSola. The New York & Company part of the business recorded net income of US$5.3m.

For the first nine months of fiscal 2007, consolidated net sales increased 7.8% to $865.3m, with New York & Company net sales up 7.7% to $835.5m and JasmineSola sales rising 10.8% to $29.8m. Same-store sales fell 0.3% and net income fell from $22.1m in the first nine months of 2006 to a net loss of $11.7m this year - again mostly caused by the JasmineSola exit charges.

New York & Company CEO Richard Crystal said he was pleased that the company had beaten the high end of its guidance "in a challenging business environment".

He added: "We are excited about our new bath and body launch, pleased with our sustained success in the pant, dress, skirt, jacket and sweater categories, and look forward to continued growth in our e-commerce business."

The company is forecasting consolidated net earnings per share for the fourth quarter of $0.09-0.21, leading to full-year consolidated net earnings per share of anything from a loss of $0.10 to income of $0.03.