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ROCHELLE PARK, NJ-United Retail Group, which operates the Avenue chain of large-size women’s clothing, has recorded third quarter profits of $1.9 million for its third quarter, or $0.08 per diluted share, versus $1.1 million and $0.14 per diluted share a year ago.

“The company had a $0.2 million tax benefit from income taxes in the third quarter of 2005 instead of a more normal tax rate,” says George R. Remeta, vice chairman and CAO, United Retail, “compared with a $1.5 million provision for income taxes in the third quarter of this year. This shift in the tax line resulted in the decline in net income.”

Net sales were up 6% for the quarter, up to $104.2 million from $98.1 million a year ago. Comparable store sales were also up $6 million from a year ago. Online sales via Shop @ Home, not included in comparable store sales, were up 41%.

“Reduced insurance cost favorably impacted SG&A by $0.8 million versus last year, primarily as a result of property insurance related gain,” said Remeta. “However, compensation expense and stock appreciation rights expense unfavorably impacted SG&A by $0.7 million versus last year, primarily as a result of the increase in the company’s stock price.”

“This marked the ninth consecutive quarter of comparable store sales increases,” says Raphael Benaroya, chairman, president and CEO. “Additionally, average transactions per store increased for the quarter and year-to-date periods.” He attributed the rise to the new assortment repositioning in the stores. United Retail operates 491 Avenue stores, totaling 2,162 million sf of selling space.

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