Specialty retailer Wilsons The Leather Experts has broadened its third-quarter loss, as sales were hit by unseasonably warm weather.

Third-quarter net loss totalled $11.7 million compared to a loss of $8.5m for the same period last year.

Quarterly net sales fell 13.1 per cent to $76.4m from $87.9m a year ago, and same-store sales slipped 11.3 per cent compared to a rise of 7.2 per cent in 2004.

Net loss for the first nine months of the year was $29.5m compared to a loss of $65.7m last year.

Year-to-date sales fell 9.1 per cent to $219.1m from $241.0m last year, on a same-store sales rise of 3.1 per cent compared to an increase of 4.7 per cent a year ago.

Chairman and chief executive Michael Searles said: "We are disappointed in our operating performance during the third quarter of 2005.

"Sales during the quarter were significantly affected by weather, which resulted in weak performance across the board."

Searles said the men's division was down 14.5 per cent, women's was down 22.4 per cent, and accessories were up 0.4 per cent.

However, he said the company was satisfied with performance in the year so far.

Wilsons Leather operates 430 stores in the US, including 306 mall stores, 110 outlet stores and 14 airport stores.