Branded and private-label apparel company Oxford Industries has updated its guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 after continued poor performance from its menswear business.

The company expects diluted earnings per share to be US$1.64-1.69 in Q4, despite a predicted strong performance from the Tommy Bahama Group.

Oxford said it had continued to experience higher than planned levels of returns, markdowns and allowances in its Menswear Group, including historic business and the Ben Sherman brand.

The predicted results include a gain of about $0.52 per share for the sale of the company's Womenswear Group. Without that, the guidance comprises a $0.08 reduction on predicted earnings per share for Q4.

J Hicks Lanier, chairman and CEO of Oxford Industries, said he believed the worst of the Ben Sherman downturn was now past. "Based on fall bookings and and positive feedback from customers, we believe that the profitability will improve significantly in fiscal 2007," he added.

The company now expects full-year fiscal 2007 sales in the $1.16bn-1.18bn range and first-quarter sales of $280m-290m.