Maternity apparel company Mothers Work Inc has reported a drop in third-quarter earnings after suffering from unexpectedly low sales.

Third-quarter net income totalled USD5.5 million compared to net income of USD6.8m in the same period last year.
Net sales for the third quarter increased 9.4 per cent to USD152.7m from USD139.6m a year ago, driven mainly by sales from the company's new Oh Baby! By Motherhood licensed arrangement with Kohl's, and sales from the expansion of the Two Hearts Maternity collection

Third-quarter same-store sales dropped 1.9 per cent compared to a fall of 5.0 per cent last year.

Rebecca Matthias, president and chief operating officer, said: "We have seen an increasingly severe clearance environment for Spring maternity apparel during the latter half of June and especially in July."

She added that the company plans to open approximately 30 new stores this year, and close approximately 55 stores.