Kellwood Company has reported third quarter results in line with expectations and has reconfirmed its guidance for the full year, despite a fall in sales from continuing operations.

Sales from continuing operations for the third quarter decreased US$84m to US$587m, as compared to US$671m last year. Net earnings for the third quarter were US$16.2m or US$0.60 per diluted share.

For the third quarter, on an ongoing basis, (excluding the impairment, restructuring charges, repatriation tax benefit and losses from businesses that the company has plans to exit) net sales totaled US$549m, declining US$70m from US$619m. Net earnings were US$17.1m, or US$0.64 per diluted share.

By segment, on an ongoing basis for the third quarter sales were down 11% in women's sportswear to US$346.6m and down 19% in men's sportswear sales to US$131.6m. This was partially offset by a 6% increase in other soft goods sales to US$71.2m.

Robert C. Skinner, Jr., president and chief executive officer: "Our third quarter results were in line with our expectations. During the quarter we made solid progress toward meeting our restructuring and brand goals. We announced the sale of our David Brooks and Dotti brands with the remaining work on our other businesses targeted for sale or closure going smoothly.

"We were pleased to report that our third quarter restructuring charge was US$20mn below our forecast, and we believe that upon completion of the restructuring program, costs will be well within the US$225m charge we announced in August."

He added: "While we recognize that the retail environment remains challenging, we believe we are positioned to meet our fourth quarter goals and remain committed to a strategy that results in improved performance and enhances shareholder value in the near and long term."

The board of directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.16 per common share, payable December 23, 2005 to shareholders of record December 12, 2005.

For the fourth quarter, the company estimates sales of approximately US$525m, which includes US$50m in discontinued/exited businesses, as compared to actual sales of US$592m in the fourth quarter last year.

Net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 is currently expected to approximate US$38m. On an ongoing basis and prior to restructuring and non-recurring charges, the company expects fourth quarter sales of approximately US$475m versus US$480m last year and net earnings of approximately US$5.9m, in-line with prior guidance.

"While downward pressure on gross margins is anticipated in the fourth quarter, a lower share count and a net reduction in non-operating expenses are expected to offset the impact on ongoing net earnings per share," a statement said.

For the fiscal 2005 year, the company expects sales of about US$2.35bn, which includes US$288m in discontinued/exited businesses. This compares to actual fiscal 2004 sales of US$2.56bn.

Kellwood's current sales guidance for the year includes sales from divisions and brands that will be exited or restructured. Sales for Kellwood's ongoing operations are forecasted to be approximately US$2.07bn versus US$2.2bn last year. The company anticipates that fully diluted shares will approximate 27.1m for fiscal 2005.