Clothing company Oxford Industries has nearly doubled its fiscal 2004 profit, boosted by a strong contribution from its newly acquired Tommy Bahama beach brand.

Net income for the year rose 95 per cent to $39.7 million from $20.3m last year, with diluted earnings per share for the year as a whole rising 78 per cent to $2.38 from $1.34 in fiscal 2003.

Net sales increased 46 per cent to $1.117 billion from $764.6m in fiscal 2003.
For the fourth quarter, Oxford said net sales rose 71 per cent to $339.1 million versus $198.1 million in the fourth quarter of last year.

Quarterly increased 256 per cent to $16.5 million from $4.6 million last year.

Chairman and chief executive officer J Hicks Lanier said: "This past year was truly transformational for our company as we integrated the acquisition of Tommy Bahama and announced an agreement to acquire Ben Sherman."

He continued: "We expect continued solid performance in the year ahead from our Menswear and Womenswear Groups and have high expectations from our newly acquired businesses."

Better than expected shipments in women's sportswear led the Womenswear Group to a 5.4 per cent fourth quarter sales increase to $95.0 million from $90.1 million last year.

The Menswear Group benefited from new programs with existing customers that resulted in a fourth quarter sales increase of 9.3 per cent to $117.9 million from $107.9 million last year.

The Tommy Bahama Group contributed $126.0 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of 32 per cent over last year when Tommy Bahama was still a private company.

To finance the company's acquisition of Ben Sherman - which is due to close on 30 July 2004 - and to allow for future growth, Oxford Industries has joined a $280m, five-year revolving credit facility.

The company expects to report fiscal 2005 sales of between $1.285 billion and $1.325 billion.