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INDIANAPOLIS-Strong sales of kids’ and men’s footwearhas pushed the Finish Line Inc.’s comp-store sales upby 4% and its overall sales up by 16% for the thirdquarter.

During the quarter, the retailer, which operates 658Finish Line stores and 49 Man Alive units, posted arecord volume of net sales totaling $274 million compared to$235.3 million for the same period last year. The comp-store sales increase of 4% is on top of an 8% comp-store sales increase for the same quarter last year, said the Finish Line’schairman and CEO Alan Cohen during a pre-recordedconference call.

Specifically, footwear comps increased 5% overall,while kids’ footwear comps experienced double digitgrowth and men’s footwear experienced comp growth inthe high single-digits, according to Cohen. However,the strength in the kids’ business led to a decline inthe average selling price of 1%. Softgood sales alsorebounded during the quarter to post flat compscompared to the third quarter 2004.

During the third quarter, the retailer opened 20 newFinish Line stores, remodeled six existing stores andclosed one store, bringing the year-to-date totals of64 new stores, 21 store remodels and four closures.The chain expets to open another four Finish Linestores during the fourth quarter in addition to threeremodels. Also during the quarter, the retaileropened 11 new Man Alive stores and is planning twoadditional store openings next quarter.

As a result of the strong third quarter sales, thecompany is upping its earnings guidance for the fourthquarter with comp stores sales being increased to 1%to 2% from flat guidance and total sales beingincreased to $407 million up from $401 million.

“We are taking a conservative stance in our guidancegoing forward as we expect additional downwardpressure on footwear average selling prices as well as additional promotional activity in the malls,” Cohen said.

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