Women's wear maker Liz Claiborne has swung to a third quarter loss after being hit by costs related to brands it has sold, discontinued and licensed under a strategic review.

The company, whose brands include Kate Spade, Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and Mexx, posted a net loss of US$69m, compared to profit of $33m in the same quarter last year.

This year's figure included losses related to discontinued operations of $59m, a statement said.

Net sales fell 15.9% to $1.015bn, with $181m of its shortfall due to brands it has licensed, closed or exited over the past year.

Liz Claiborne decided in 2006 to shed some of its 48-brand portfolio as part of a move to a new streamlined business model.

It put 16 brands under review, and has since offloaded brands including Emma James, Intuitions, JH Collectibles, Tapemeasure, Prana, Ellen Tracey, Laundry By Design, C&C California, and - most recently - Enyce.

For the first nine months of 2008 the company's net sales were down 6% to $3.074bn, with a net loss of $123m, compared to a profit of $63m in the first three-quarters of last year.

The company tightened its earning per share guidance for the full-year to a range of $1.02 - $1.07.

Bill McComb, chief executive officer of Liz Claiborne, said: "We continued to benefit from our streamlining activities, which generated a $25m year over year reduction in adjusted SG&A in the quarter.

"We will continue our intense focus on controlling the controllables...inventory, accounts receivable, astute brand execution and generating free cash flow to pay down debt.

"In terms of product and brand execution, we've spent the past year developing outstanding product for this Spring - and although the environment will temper our results, we are as optimistic as we can be about how our brands will present at retail."

He added that given the lack of visibility caused by the highly uncertain environment, the company was not providing 2009 guidance at this point.