Tandy Brands Accessories has swung to a full year loss of US$49.3m, compared to a profit of $1.9m last year, after impairment charges and inventory writedowns took their toll.

For the fiscal year ended 30 June, Tandy said its net sales fell 23.7% to $149.3m, from $195.8m last time.

For the fourth fiscal quarter the company reported a net loss of $4.7m on net sales of $30.1m, versus a net loss of $2.9m on net sales of $36.4m in last year's Q4.

As of 30 June, the company had working capital of $53.3m. It said inventories at the end of the year were $35.5m, a 45% decline from last year's levels - partly due to an $18.7m write-down during the year.

During the fourth quarter, the company signed a license to manufacture and to sell men's, women's, young men's, and juniors' leather accessories under the Dr Martens brand.

"Fiscal 2008 was one of the most difficult years that the company has seen in its 17-year history," said JSB Jenkins, chairman and chief executive officer of Tandy Brands.

"As we enter fiscal 2009, we remain cautious and conservative in our approach to the market because of the difficult retail environment."