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Oxford Reports Rise in Net Income

Oxford Industries reported a slight increase in net income to $12.6 million from $12.15 million for its fiscal quarter ended Nov. 30, 2007.

ATLANTA — Oxford Industries reported a slight increase in net income to $12.6 million from $12.15 million for its fiscal quarter ended Nov. 30, 2007. Diluted earnings from continuing operations per share rose to 71 cents from 69 cents.

Consolidated sales also rose slightly to $294.5 million from $291 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2007. This is the second quarter of Oxford’s eight-month transition period ending Feb. 2, 2008.

J. Hicks Lanier, chairman and CEO, said, “We are pleased to deliver results from operations that exceeded last year’s second quarter and were in line with our expectations. However, the holiday season has been challenging for our industry and in our retail stores. At present, we expect these conditions to persist and, as a result, we are planning conservatively and managing inventory risk prudently.”

Oxford warned that it has lowered expectations for the two-month period beginning Dec. 1, 2007, and ending Feb. 2, 2008, and now expects net sales to be slightly below the comparable period last year. Oxford expects net earnings to be in the range of breakeven to a modest profit.

Lanier explained that, not only are December and January typically light shipping months in Oxford’s wholesale businesses, but a weak holiday performance by most of its wholesale customers has dampened its expectations
for the period.

“Our own retail stores did not meet expectations in December and we do not expect a significant improvement in January,” he said.

Lanier said that Oxford’s long-term strategy remains unchanged, which is to continue to invest in the Tommy Bahama and Ben Sherman brands with additional stores, direct to consumer expansion, and enhancements to  Oxford’s infrastructure to support long-term growth in the company’s international business.

In the quarter, Tommy Bahama reported a net sales increase of 2.3 percent to $110.3 million for the second quarter of transition period 2008 from $107.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2007. Additional retail stores and the launch of the e-commerce site drove the increase. Operating income increased to $14.3 million from $13.9 million.

Ben Sherman’s net sales rose 4 percent to $45.6 million from $43.8 million, due primarily to favorable foreign currency exchange translation rates, and operating income increased to $5.8 million from $4.7 million.

Net sales for Lanier Clothes were $51.2 million, flat as compared to the $51.1 million reported a year ago. Operating income declined to $2 million from $3.7 million because of lower gross margins caused by weak demand in the moderate tailored clothing market.

Oxford Apparel’s net sales slipped 1.2 percent to $87.1 million from $8.1 million, while operating income rose 39.4 percent to $7.3 million from $5.2 million.