J. Jill Profits Slide 20% in 3Q

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J. Jill Group Inc. said yesterday that its third-quarter profits plummeted 20 percent with sales and customer traffic affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


The Quincy, MA-based company posted net income totaling $2.8 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, compared with $3.5 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, a year ago. Sales rose 13.8 percent to $65.8 million from $57.9 million.


The women's apparel retailer said that its direct-to-consumer and retail business has since returned to pre-Sept. 11 levels.


However, it also said that its holiday catalog, which was mailed at the end of September, typically generates sales several months after mailing, and it thinks the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will affect the direct segment during the fourth quarter. Consequently, it expects to lose about $1.1 million in sales and diluted earnings of 3 cents per share.


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