Oakley Inc (NYSE:OO) Monday announced it has assumed direct responsibility for distribution of Oakley products in the Austrian market.

Since 1996 Oakley products have been distributed in Austria by Wulf Sport GmbH (Wulf Sport). As part of this transfer of responsibility, Wulf Sport will continue to distribute Oakley products in the eastern European markets including Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia. Additionally, to better serve the Germanic markets, the company has opened a new office known as Oakley GmbH in Munich, Germany.

"Wulf Sport has been an excellent partner in establishing the Oakley brand in Austria and will continue to be a powerful representative for our brand in Eastern Europe. Both of our direct European offices, Oakley UK and Oakley Europe (Paris), have put forth tremendous efforts in building our brand in Europe," said Link Newcomb, Oakley's chief operating officer. "Opening Oakley GmbH allows us to further cultivate demand, deliver customized, targeted service and focus specific sales and marketing efforts within the large and influential markets of Germany and Austria. This effort becomes increasingly important as we expand the brand into additional product categories such as footwear, prescription eyewear and apparel."

Over the past several years, Oakley has strengthened its position as a world brand by establishing direct distribution operations in continental Europe, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, South Africa, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. Combined, Oakley's direct international operations currently account for approximately 85 percent of its non-US net sales. In other parts of the world, Oakley products are sold through selected distributors with local expertise. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

About Oakley Inc.

Oakley: a world brand, driven to ignite the imagination through the fusion of art and science. Building on its legacy of innovative, market-leading, premium sunglasses, the company also offers an expanding line of premium performance footwear, apparel, accessories, watches and prescription eyewear to consumers in more than 70 countries. Trailing-12-month revenues through March 31, 2000 totaled $272 million and generated net income of $32.1 million -- a 12 percent net margin, excluding a one-time restructuring charge of $8.2 million. Oakley news releases, SEC filings and the company's Annual Report are available at no charge through the company's Web site at www.oakley.com.

Safe Harbor Disclaimer

This news release contains certain statements of a forward-looking nature. Such statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The accuracy of such statements may be impacted by a number of business risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or anticipated, including: risks related to the company's ability to identify qualified manufacturing partners; the ability to coordinate product development and production processes with those partners; the dependence on eyewear sales to Sunglass Hut; unanticipated changes in general market conditions or other factors which may result in cancellations of advance orders or a reduction in the rate of reorders placed by retailers; risks that the net realizable value of assets disposed of in the footwear restructuring may differ from estimates used; the ability to continue to develop and produce innovative new products and introduce them in a timely manner; the acceptance in the marketplace of the company's new products; the ability to source raw materials and finished products at favorable prices to the company; foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; and other risks outlined in the company's SEC filings, including but not limited to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 1999 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three-month period ended March 31, 2000. The company undertakes no obligation to update this forward-looking information.