Oxford Net Grows, Guidance Boosted

Tommy Bahama profits up 45.8% in first quarter as sales grow 10.9%.

Oxford Industries Inc. on Tuesday reported an 89 percent jump in first-quarter profits and raised guidance for the year.

This story first appeared in the June 9, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

For the three months ended May 1, income was $12.5 million, or 76 cents a diluted share, versus income of $6.6 million, or 42 cents, a year ago. Analysts polled by Yahoo Finance on average expected EPS of 60 cents in the most recent quarter.

Sales inched up 0.5 percent to $217.8 million from $216.7 million.

The company said Tommy Bahama was the best-performing business segment, with sales rising 10.9 percent to $109.1 million. Sales at Ben Sherman saw an 8.5 percent decline to $22.2 million, while Lanier Clothes fell 3.4 percent to $30.4 million and Oxford Apparel fell 10.9 percent to $56.3 million. Operating income rose at all four units, with Tommy Bahama up 45.8 percent to $17.9 million and Ben Sherman reversing a year-ago loss of $2 million to generate $522,000 in profit.

J. Hicks Lanier, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Increased consumer demand at both our own stores and those of our wholesale customers drove stronger-than-expected sales. In our retail stores, we achieved healthy comparable-store sales. On the wholesale side, our customers had initially booked spring 2010 very conservatively and finished 2009 with very lean inventories. As they began to experience positive sales trends during holiday 2009 and the early part of this year, many of them scrambled to try to rebuild inventories to what we believe are more normalized levels.”

Based on what Lanier termed a “steady recovery,” Oxford increased EPS guidance for the year to $1.70 to $1.80 on sales of between $790 million and $805 million. On March 29, the company projected EPS of $1.40 to $1.50 on sales of between $760 million and $775 million.

For the second quarter ending July 31, the apparel firm expects sales in the range of $175 million to $185 million, and diluted EPS of 30 cents to 35 cents. The consensus among analysts for second-quarter EPS had been 34 cents.