Private-label manufacturer Oxford Industries Inc has posted a 47 per cent third-quarter earnings increase, attributed to better gross margins after an higher mix of company-owned brands as a percentage of sales.

For the third quarter of 2005, net sales rose 24 per cent to $349 million compared to $281m in the same quarter of 2004.

Third-quarter net income grew 47 per cent to $14.0m from $9.5m last year.

The company's chairman and chief executive officer J Hicks Lanier said that the "better than expected" results were boosted by the strong performance of its Ben Sherman brand.

The Tommy Bahama Group reported third-quarter sales of $101m compared to $103m in the year ago quarter.

The Menswear Group, which includes results for Ben Sherman, reported a third-quarter sales increase to $169m compared to sales of $100m in the same period last year.

Third quarter sales for the Womenswear Group increased to $79m from $78m last year.

Oxford Industries Inc is a producer and marketer of branded and private label apparel for men, women and children under brands such as Tommy Bahama, Indigo Palms, Island Soft, Ben Sherman, Ely & Walker and Oxford Golf. The Company also holds exclusive licenses to produce and sell certain product categories under the Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Geoffrey Beene, Slates, Dockers and Oscar de la Renta labels