Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. said preliminary sales results for the fourth quarter and full-year periods showed a 1.1 gain and a decline of 4.5 percent, respectively. Management said results were below expectations.

For the quarter ended Dec. 30, net merchandise sales rose to $365 million from $361 million in the same period of the prior year. Results include sales from the company's retail, outlet and direct channels, but excludes licensing revenue "or revenue generated by the company's joint ventures," the retailer said in a statement. Sales in its direct channel, Web sites and catalogues rose 0.1 percent in the quarter. Same-store sales for the quarter rose 4.6 percent, which compares with a 7.1 percent decline in the prior year.

For the year-end period, net merchandise sales dropped to $957 million from $1 billion. Same-store sales for the year dropped 2 percent, which compares with a 2.2 decline in the prior period. Sales in the direct channel fell 4.4 percent for the year.

William End, chairman of Eddie Bauer, said in a statement that fourth-quarter sales results "were moderately below our expectations."

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