• Q3 profit tumbled to $1.6m from $5.6m
  • Sales jump 22% to $170.3m  
  • Sees FY earnings of $2.30 to $2.35 per share

Clothing maker Oxford Industries Inc, owner of brands such as Ben Sherman, Oxford Golf and Lilly Pulitzer, has raised its full-year earnings outlook after seeing strong sales during the early part of the holiday selling season.

The rise comes after it booked a 22% rise in net sales in the third quarter to 29 October, climbing to $170.3m from $139.6m in the same period last year. Growth in Tommy Bahama and the inclusion of Lilly Pulitzer, which the company acquired in December 2010, were behind the gains.

Profit, however, tumbled to $1.6m or $0.10 per share, from $5.6m or $0.33 per share the year before - although stripping out the repurchase of senior secured notes, accounting charges and adjustments saw adjusted earnings rise to $0.16 per share.

"While the third quarter remains our smallest, our results exceeded both our prior year and our plan," said chairman and CEO J Hicks Lanier. "We continue to develop a more meaningful fall seasonal business, particularly in Tommy Bahama , with positive momentum in all channels of distribution."

He added: "We have also been delighted with the results we are achieving during the early part of the very important holiday selling season," noting "our retail stores as well as our e-commerce websites are performing very well."

During the quarter, Tommy Bahama sales rose 14% to $92.5m, while operating income was up 35.3% to $4.6m. Net sales at Lilly Pulitzer climbed 17.2% to $16.7m, but blamed an operating loss of $0.4m on an accounting charge.

Ben Sherman, meanwhile, saw net sales slip 1.2% to $25.2m while operating income tumbled to $0.3m from $1.7m due to higher product costs and lower royalty income.

And at Lanier Clothes, net sales rose 7.5% to $33.1m, while gross margin pressures pushed operating income down 18.9% to $4.3m.

For the fiscal year, the company now expects adjusted earnings from continuing operations in a range of $2.30 to $2.35 per share and net sales of $745m to $755m. This compares to earlier guidance of $2.20 to $2.30 per share and net sales of $735m to $750m.