Casual apparel and footwear retailer Pacific Sunwear of California has saluted a "solid" holiday season, despite sliding to a full-year loss of US$18.6m.

Fourth quarter sales were down 7.8% to $420.1m, with comparable store sales dipping 2.2%. But the figures were badly affected by a 31% same store sales decline at the company's Demo outlets, which are to cease operations during the first quarter of 2008.

PacSun same-store sales were up 2.1% over the same period.

"I am very pleased by the continuing progress shown by our PacSun business during the fourth quarter," said Pacific Sunwear CEO Sally Frame Kasaks. "We completed a solid holiday season, driven by continued progress in improving our apparel business."

Full-year sales edged up 0.8% to $1.45bn, with same-store sales rising 0.7%. PacSun same-store sales were up 3.4%, while Demo same store sales plummeted 19.6%.

The company's net loss of $18.6m compared to a $43.9m profit in 2006.

Pacific Sunwear is projecting earnings per diluted share of $0.73-0.77 for fiscal 2008, assuming a 3-4% increase in PacSun same-store sales.

Assuming the same level of sales growth in the first quarter, the company expects a loss per share of $0.06-0.08.