NEW YORK – Higher holiday promotions put a crimp in Jones Apparel Group’s style in the fourth quarter, dragging down profits 18.4 percent to $34.1 million, or 28 cents a diluted share compared with a year ago.

Sales advanced 10.5 percent to $1.08 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31.

Chief executive officer Peter Boneparth said on a conference call Wednesday that the profit-eroding promotions were another example of Jones’ need to diversify, as it did with the $397.3 million acquisition of ultra-trendy Barneys New York last December.

Jones will also begin testing a plus-size retail concept this year featuring a variety of its apparel brands. Two to five stores will open during the second quarter and as many as 15 of the units may bow by year-end.

—Evan Clark

For a full report, see Thursday’s WWD.