Oxford Industries, Inc (NYSE: OXM) has announced financial results for the second quarter and six months ended December 1, 2000.

Consolidated net sales for the second quarter decreased 11.4 per cent to $194.9m from $219.9m last year. Second quarter net earnings declined $4.2m to $2.7m from $6.9m in the prior year. Diluted earnings per share declined 59.1per cent to $0.36 from $0.88 in the second quarter last year, slightly ahead of the company's revised guidance.

For the six months ended December 1, 2000, consolidated net sales declined 1.6 per cent to $399.2m from $405.7m last year. Consolidated net earnings were $6.2m compared to $11.6m last year. Year-to-date diluted earnings per share declined 44.6 per cent to $0.82 from $1.48 in last year's first half.

The company continued its stock repurchase activity during the quarter with the purchase and retirement of 203,200 shares of common stock. This brings the total shares repurchased to 690,120 since the board of directors' last authorisation of 1,000,000 shares in April, 1999.

J. Hicks Lanier, chairman and president, said, "The softening of demand that we predicted in the first quarter earnings announcement impacted our second quarter results even more than we expected. Order deferrals and slowing sell-throughs at retail left us short of last year and our sales plan."

"We experienced a sizable increase in operating expenses over last year attributable primarily to new marketing initiatives established in last year's second half. DKNY Kids, Izod Club Golf, Tommy Hilfiger Womens Golf and Slates Tailored Clothing have required considerable investment of financial and personnel resources to provide a strong foundation for future growth and profitability."

"In the early stages, however, we have incurred significant start-up cost with comparatively little sales or gross margin dollars to show for our efforts. This situation will improve as these new divisions gain critical mass.''

"Looking ahead to the second half, we expect this challenging retail environment and economic uncertainty to continue. Second half sales are expected to be essentially flat with the first half. Diluted earnings per share should improve moderately over the first half due to improving manufacturing performance and the growing contribution of our new branded marketing initiatives," he added