Talbots profit up 17% on cost-cutting

Same-store sales fell 7.1%.

Hingham, Mass. -- The Talbots on Tuesday said its third-quarter profit rose 17% on cost-cutting. But its revenue fell and the retailer offered weak fourth-quarter guidance and cut its full-year outlook.

"Our customer traffic and sales demand from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday improved greatly, however, we believe the challenging and promotional environment will continue," said CEO Trudy Sullivan. "To that end, we will stay nimble and have appropriately enhanced our promotional activity to best position ourselves for the remainder of this holiday season."

Talbots said its net income rose to $17 million, from $14.6 million a year ago. Revenue fell 3% to $299.1 million, from $308.9 million last year. Same-store sales fell 7.1%.

Talbots is in the midst of a turnaround plan. After struggling with weak sales during the recession, Talbots earlier this year arranged a deal that let it reduce its debt and buy out its largest shareholder, Japanese retail company Aeon (U.S.A.), which held a 54% stake. The retailer has also updated its clothing to appeal to younger, more style conscious shoppers.

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