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Oxford Hikes Dividend 9% Following Gains In 1st Half

ATLANTA -- Oxford Industries Inc. has increased its quarterly dividend by 9 percent to 18 cents a share from a previous 16.5 cents.<BR><BR>The increased dividend is payable Feb. 26 to stockholders of record on Feb. 11.<BR><BR>The action follows...

ATLANTA — Oxford Industries Inc. has increased its quarterly dividend by 9 percent to 18 cents a share from a previous 16.5 cents.

The increased dividend is payable Feb. 26 to stockholders of record on Feb. 11.

The action follows Oxford’s recent release of first-half financial figures showing a 26.3 percent gain in second-quarter profits and a 26.9 percent rise in profits for the six months ended Nov. 26.

In the quarter, the apparel manufacturer earned $5.8 million, or 68 cents a share, up from $4.6 million, or 53 cents. Sales rose 9.3 percent to $178.7 million from $163.6 million.

Six-month earnings rose to $9.8 million, or $1.14, from $7.7 million, or 89 cents. Sales increased 9.9 percent to $327.4 million from $297.9 million.

J. Hicks Lanier, chairman, attributed the earnings gains to a combination of better sales, steady margins and reduced expenses as a percentage of sales. He noted that sales gains in the quarter and half were led by strong performances in two men’s wear units, Oxford Shirtings and Lanier Clothes. In addition to men’s wear, Oxford makes women’s apparel.

Commenting on the second half, Lanier said that although the rate of sales and earnings increases will probably moderate, earnings should continue to grow at a double-digit pace.