By  on November 21, 2008

AnnTaylor Stores Corp. blamed a third-quarter loss on the overall economic environment and consumer spending slowdown.

For the three months ended Nov. 3, the New York-based retailer posted a loss of $13.4 million, or 24 cents a diluted share, compared to profits of $40.8 million, or 66 cents a share last year. Sales in the quarter fell 12.3 percent to $527.2 million from $600.1 million a year ago.

"As previously reported, after a solid first-half performance this year, our business turned soft in the third quarter reflecting the dramatic deterioration in the overall economy and consumer spending -- particularly over the latter part of the period," said president and chief executive officer Kay Krill.

In the first nine months of fiscal 2008, the firm posted profits of $41.7 million, or 72 cents a share, down 59.9 percent from profits of $103.9 million, or $1.61 a share, last year. Sales in the three quarters fell 4.7 percent to $1.71 billion from $1.80 billion a year ago.

For complete coverage, see Monday's WWD.

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