Successful omnichannel initiatives for its Lilly Pulitzer and Tommy Bahama brands helped Oxford Industries Inc. increase both its earnings and sales in the fiscal first quarter.On Tuesday, the Atlanta-based company reported earnings on a GAAP basis were $1.23 per share in the period, compared to $1.03 in the same quarter of last year. On an adjusted basis, earnings were $1.28 a share in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 compared to $1.12 in the first quarter of fiscal 2017.Consolidated net sales increased slightly to $272.6 million compared to $272.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2017.Thomas C. Chubb 3rd, chairman and chief executive officer, said: “We successfully executed our plans during the first quarter and delivered sales at the high end of our guidance range, and earnings per share that exceeded our expectations. Importantly, our work included continuing to enhance the way our customers are able to experience our powerful portfolio of brands starting with our company-operated stores and web sites.”Chubb said the company’s direct-to-consumer business posted positive comparable-sales growth “led by strong gains in e-commerce” at its Lilly Pulitzer and Tommy Bahama web sites.This year, Oxford has been working to “build out more robust omnichannel capabilities.” This includes a new web site for Lilly Pulitzer that Chubb said “provides the best digital presentation of the brand that we have ever delivered through both mobile and desktop devices.”For its Tommy Bahama division, the company’s multiyear omnichannel infrastructure project is progressing and results should become even more meaningful later this year.At the same time, the company continued its previously revealed strategy to selectively reduce its wholesale door count. “This is an important step toward maintaining the strength and integrity of our leading brands,” he said.In a move to reach new customers, Oxford introduced a collection of home decor and furniture for Lilly Pulitzer through an exclusive collaboration with Pottery Barn, along with a new swim collection, which Chubb said was "a big hit." In addition, two new stores for Lilly will open later this year in Maui and Newport Beach, Calif., along with Palm Beach, Fla., where the brand was founded nearly 60 years ago.Tommy Bahama ran targeted ad campaigns in key markets including San Diego, Scottsdale and Naples, Fla., he said, and the company opened a second Marlin Bar — an outdoor restaurant for Tommy Bahama — in Palm Springs, Calif., that is "off to a great start. We are actively pursuing additional Marlin Bar opportunities and are planning to open a couple in 2019."The company also reported guidance for the second quarter and year. For the second quarter, ending Aug. 4, Oxford is now projecting net sales to grow to between $300 million and $310 million compared to net sales of $284.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017. Earnings per share on a GAAP basis are expected to be in a range of $1.72 to $1.82 in the second quarter. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share for the second quarter are expected to be in a range of $1.75 to $1.85. This compares with second-quarter fiscal 2017 GAAP earnings per share of $1.36 and adjusted earnings per share of $1.44.In the third quarter, which is the smallest for the company because of the seasonality of both its flagship Lilly Pulitzer and Tommy Bahama brands, earnings are expected to be comparable to last year.However, for the full year, Oxford raised its outlook and now expects GAAP earnings to grow to between $4.32 and $4.52. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share for fiscal 2018 are expected to be in a range of $4.45 to $4.65. This compares to earnings on a GAAP basis of $3.87 per share and, on an adjusted basis, $3.66 per share in fiscal 2017. The company expects net sales to grow to between $1.125 billion and $1.145 billion as compared to fiscal 2017 net sales of $1.086 billion.
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