By  on April 1, 2008

ATLANTA — The tough retail environment continues to dampen sales and earnings for Oxford Industries, which reported a fall in net earnings to $509,000, or 3 cents per diluted share in the two-month stub period, ended Feb. 2, from $2.8 million, or 16 cents, in the two-month period a year ago.

Consolidated net sales slipped to $163.4 million from $164.4 million in the two-month period, which completes Oxford’s transition to a new fiscal calendar.

Net earnings for the eight-month transition period fell about 26 percent to $19.2 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, in the eight month transition period, from $26.1 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, in the prior year’s eight month period. Sales fell about 6 percent to $695.8 million from $739.5 million.

Even Oxford’s star performer, Tommy Bahama, reported sales in the eight-month transition period slightly lower from a year ago, slipping to $284.6 million from $286.8 million. Oxford said current difficult macro-economic environment negatively impacted the results of Tommy Bahama’s wholesale operations and resulted in lower productivity than has been historically realized in the group’s retail sector.

Ben Sherman reported a modest sales increase of 2.1 percent to $101.6 million in the eight-month transition period from $99.5 million. Lanier Clothes reported a net sales decline of 4 percent to $107.5 million in the period from $111.9 million in the prior year’s eight-month period, which Oxford attributed to sluggish demand for moderate tailored clothing.

Oxford Apparel also saw sales fall in the eight months to $201.3 million from $239.9 million, which Oxford attributed to planned sales reductions as underperforming businesses were rationalized.

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