By and  on September 3, 2009

Restructuring in its Ben Sher-man business, and lower sales at all business units, dragged down Oxford Industries Inc.’s second-quarter profits by 63.8 percent.

The company reported late Wednesday that, for the three months ended Aug. 1, net income fell to $533,000, or 3 cents a diluted share, from $1.5 million, or 9 cents, in the year-ago quarter. The results included a 6 cents a diluted share restructuring charge. Excluding the charge and other items, such as an 8 cents a diluted share charge for the writeoff of unamortized deferred financing costs connected with the retirement of its senior unsecured notes in June 2009, adjusted diluted earnings per share were 30 cents versus adjusted EPS of 37 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Sales in the quarter declined 16.3 percent to $192.9 million from $230.5 million. At the Tommy Bahama business, sales were down 15.7 percent to $94.4 million. Lanier Clothes posted a 14.8 percent decrease in sales to $25.2 million, while Oxford Apparel sales were off 10.6 percent to $49.5 million. The division with the biggest drop was Ben Sherman, off 27.3 percent to $23.6 million due to “challenging market conditions” and unfavorable exchange rate fluctuation.

All divisions except Ben Sherman produced operating income. While Ben Sherman’s loss widened to $6.3 million from $2 million, profits were down at Tommy Bahama and up at Oxford Apparel. Lanier Clothes’ $2.7 million profit contrasted with an $11.4 million loss a year ago.

J. Hicks Lanier, chairman and chief executive officer, said the firm’s operating results had exceeded the company’s plan. “Our results have been enhanced through carefully managed inventories and comprehensive cost-reduction efforts,” he said.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were cut to $73.6 million in the quarter from $93 million a year ago.

In the half, net income dropped 35.9 percent to $7 million, or 45 cents a diluted share, while sales slid 18.6 percent to $503.5 million.

Separately, Oxford Industries has hired Scott Sennett as executive vice president of the Oxford Apparel Group. He was formerly executive vice president of sales and marketing at StyleMark, the accessories and eyewear company. He has 24 years of management experience in brand strategy, sales and marketing, licensing, merchandising, product development, supply chain and risk management. Prior to StyleMark, he worked at Lantis Eyewear and Motive Eyewear, both now units of StyleMark. He will report to Kayo O’Reilly, group vice president for Oxford and head of the Oxford Apparel Group.

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