Paul Harris Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: PAUHQ - news), a lifestyle specialty retailer known for its privately branded women's apparel and accessories, today reported a net loss of $22.2m, or $2.03 per diluted share for the third fiscal quarter ended October 28, 2000.

These results are compared with a net loss of $1.0m, or $0.09 per diluted share for the same period last year.

Glenn Lyon, president and chief executive officer, said, "Although anticipated, our third quarter results were disappointing none the less. Weak sales resulting from the slow receipt of inventory coupled with unavoidable, non-recurring expenses associated with the sale of the J. Peterman Company and our Chapter 11 reorganisation produced a substantial net loss for the quarter."

However, Lyon remains optimistic about the future, ``Our customers have demonstrated a clear, strong acceptance of our new holiday line, as evidenced by continuing robust sell throughs in all categories. This better than plan sales performance, along with a steady flow of new spring transitional fashions, will leave us with a seasonally balanced merchandise assortment and well positioned to begin the new fiscal year.''

Richard R. Hettlinger, senior vice president and chief financial officer, noted that the loss before income taxes for the third quarter was $18.3m compared to a loss of $1.6m the prior year. Primary factors causing this year's loss included an increase in the cost of sales and additional losses associated with the sale of the J. Peterman Company, as well as reorganisation expenses.