Investments in its growing Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer brands pushed Oxford Industries Inc.’s profits down in the first quarter.
Profits were flat at Lilly Pulitzer and down at Tommy Bahama while the loss at Ben Sherman grew, with improvement not expected until the year’s second half.
Net earnings fell 24.3 percent to $13.6 million, or 82 cents a share, from $18 million, or $1.09, a year ago as selling, general and administrative expenses expanded. Even so, earnings per share came in 4 cents ahead of the 78 cents analysts projected.
Sales for the quarter ended May 4 inched up 1.4 percent to $234.2 million from $231 million. Sales at the Tommy Bahama business rose 6.6 percent to $150.4 million, while sales at the Lilly Pulitzer unit gained 10.7 percent to $39.4 million and Ben Sherman’s sales fell 29.5 percent to $12.2 million.
Terry Pillow, chief executive officer of Tommy Bahama, noted that the brand’s comparable sales rose 10 percent, as a rebound in April offset weather-related weakness earlier in the quarter.
Thomas C. Chubb 3rd, president and chief executive officer of Oxford, commented, “During the quarter we made steady progress with respect to Tommy Bahama’s Asia-Pacific store rollout with the opening of our first two stores in Japan. In addition, early in the second quarter we expanded our presence in North America with the acquisition of nine stores in Canada previously operated by a licensee. Combined with a good pace of new Lilly Pulitzer store openings, we are looking forward to leveraging a significant increase in our overall retail presence.”
Chubb also said that the troubled Ben Sherman brand is making progress on “cost control as well as on the quality of our assortments and distribution. We remain optimistic that the actions taken will result in tangible improvements in the second half of fiscal 2013.”
Ben Sherman’s operating loss in the quarter rose to $4.8 million from a loss of $2.7 million a year ago, while Tommy Bahama’s profits fell 16.4 percent, to $21.4 million, and Lanier Clothes’ were off 39.2 percent to $2.5 million. Lilly Pulitzer’s profit was flat at $11 million.
For the full year, Oxford continues to project earnings of $3 to $3.15, which compares with adjusted earnings of $2.61 last year.
Eric Beder, analyst at Brean Capital LLC, elevated his price target for the stock to $71 from $70.
“We remain buyers of [Oxford] and view the company as one of the few key top- and bottom-line expansion stories in the retailing universe,” he wrote in a research note. “Further, with two value-added, underpenetrated and premium lifestyle brands in Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer, we believe Oxford Industries is also one of the few players in the mature apparel sector with the ability to surpass peak operating margins and register material bottom-line upside.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast