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Inter Parfums Posts 3rd-quarter Profit

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Perfume company Inter Parfums Inc. reported after the market closed Monday that profit rose in the third quarter, helped by trimmed expenses and a foreign currency gain.

The company said it earned $7.3 million, or 24 cents per share for the quarter, up from $6.2 million, or 20 cents per share earned in the same quarter last year.

Earnings were helped by a pretax foreign currency gain of $900,000 million for hedging activities.

Sales declined 5 percent to $117.5 million from $123.5 million.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn 20 cents per share on revenue of $105 million.

Gross margin was 57 percent, up from 55 percent a year ago, and sales at stores open more than a year declined 8 percent at U.S. operations.

The company also said it reduced inventory by 40 percent over the past year and that it kept a lid on selling, general and administrative expenses during the quarter.

For fiscal 2009, the company expects earnings of 74 cents per share, lower than the 76 cents per share expected by analysts.

Shares declined 32 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $11.58 in aftermarket trading, after ending at $11.90 on Monday.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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