Third-quarter net sales at children's apparel and accessories retailer Oshkosh B'Gosh Inc slipped to $115.2 million from $124.1m in the same quarter last year.

A  2.7 per cent decline in comparable store sales was partially offset by seven additional stores compared to the year-ago period, and resulted in retail sales of $72.9m versus $73.3m last year the company said.

Wholesale sales contributed $41.5m versus $50.0m last year. The previously announced Kids 'R' Us store closings as well as tighter targeted inventory levels at certain of the company's wholesale customers resulted in reduced autumn 2004 bookings.

During the quarter, the company opened one Family Lifestyle store, ending the quarter with 169 total retail locations, including nine Family Lifestyle stores. 

Net income increased 18.0 per cent to $8.0m, or $0.68 per diluted share, compared to net income of $6.8m, or $0.57 per diluted share, last year.

For the first nine months, net sales were $277.8m compared to $307.9m last year. Net income for the first nine months totalled $5.2m, or $0.44 per diluted share.

Douglas Hyde, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "By staying focused on the things that we can control, we believe that we have now stabilized our core wholesale and outlet businesses and have begun to see signs of a turnaround in recent months.

"Through improvements in the design and marketing of our merchandise, we continue to strengthen our brand equity with our customers, which we believe in turn will help spur longer-term growth in our sales."

OshKosh B'Gosh Inc a marketer of quality children's apparel and accessories, which are sold in over 50 countries around the world. The Company is headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.