Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has reported a fall in second-quarter profit as a result of a slowdown in US retail sales.

Net income for the three months ended 31 August declined 37.5% to US$833,000 from $1.33m in the comparable period last year.

The Colorado-based company's total revenues for the quarter stood at $6.3m, down from $7.5m for the same period in 2007.

Looking at the first half of Rocky Mountain's fiscal year, net income tumbled 22.3% to $1.8m. Revenues fell 10% to around $13.4m, compared with revenues of around $14.8m in the first half of fiscal 2008.

Same-store sales at franchised retail outlets declined 2.3%, while same-store pounds of products purchased from the company's factory by franchisees decreased 12% compared to the previous year.

"While our operating results for the second quarter and first half of fiscal 2009 were disappointing relative to the company's performance in recent years, we remained solidly profitable during a period of great economic stress that has significantly impacted the sales of most retailers and the levels of customer traffic in regional shopping malls and other venues where our stores are located," said Bryan Merryman, chief operating officer of Rocky Mountain.

"We are monitoring our expenses carefully and believe that our sales and profit margins will recover once the US economic environment improves."

The company said it anticipates the number of new store openings for the full year to approximate 35 to 40 units.