NEW YORK — Bernard Chaus Inc. cited overall weakness in apparel for its failure to break even in the first quarter.
Chaus, which designs, sources and markets women’s career and casual sportswear, said for the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company lost $946,000, or 3 cents a share. That compares with net income of $4.3 million, or 16 cents, in the year-ago period.
Sales were also down, falling 23.5 percent to $40.7 million from $53.2 million.
Josephine Chaus, chairwoman and chief executive, said in a statement: “As we anticipated, Chaus’s results in the first quarter reflect the ongoing challenging conditions across the apparel marketplace.”
Still, Chaus said that the company is working to differentiate the brand and increase customer awareness by focusing on implementing initiatives to highlight and build the Josephine Chaus brand, while fine-tuning merchandising strategies.
During the quarter, the company continued to roll out in-store shops and fixturing, including the introduction of a shop at Macy’s Herald Square in New York.
The results were consistent with those of last year’s fourth quarter, when losses amounted to $5.2 million and sales fell 19.7 percent to $33.2 million. The company’s stock has wallowed at below $1 a share ever since those figures were released in August.
Consequently, the company said earlier this month that, with its stock below the $1 level required to maintain its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, it would seek quotation on the over-the-counter bulletin board system.
“We have concluded that it is prudent to invest in our core business and continue to meet the needs of our retail customers, rather than to divert our resources and reduce investment in the business in an attempt to maintain our listing,” the firm said in a statement.
It noted that shareholders would experience “substantial dilution” if it were to take the steps necessary to maintain its status as an NYSE stock.

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