United Retail Group Inc has reported a net loss of $5.2 million, or $0.40 per share, for the third quarter ended 2 November, compared with a net loss of $2.3 million, or $0.17 per share, for the third quarter of the previous fiscal year.

The company, which sells large-size women's fashion apparel, said a fall in sales and pressure on margins resulting from promotional activity was to blame. Total sales for the quarter were $97.0 million compared with $96.6 million in the same quarter in the previous year. Comparable store sales decreased 2 per cent.

For the first nine months, total sales increased 4 per cent to $326.3 million from $312.8 million. Comparable store sales increased 2 per cent for the year to date. Net loss was $7.0 million, or $0.53 per share, compared with net income of $1.1 million, $0.08 per diluted share.