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July 31, 2007

US: Oxford Industries reports flat fourth quarter sales

Oxford Industries reported net sales for the fourth quarter of $287.2m, compared to $287.6m in the fourth quarter last year, but managed to strengthen its lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama.

Oxford Industries reported net sales for the fourth quarter of $287.2m, compared to $287.6m in the fourth quarter last year, but managed to strengthen its lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama.

For the full fiscal year 2007, consolidated net sales increased 1.8% to $1.129bn from $1.109bn in 2006. Operating income for the year was $100.8m, up 2.8% from the prior year.

The company has this month organised its business into four operating groups – Tommy Bahama, Ben Sherman, Lanier Clothes, and Oxford Apparel.

J Hicks Lanier, chairman and CEO of Oxford Industries, said: “Over the course of this past year, we achieved several important objectives. We continued to strengthen and grow our most important lifestyle brand, Tommy Bahama. We continued to improve and expand the global distribution for Ben Sherman and believe that the business is poised to deliver solid sales and earnings growth.

“We also greatly improved the profitability of Oxford Apparel by rationalising underperforming businesses and focusing on key product categories. In Lanier Clothes, our tailored clothing group, we faced very challenging market conditions, which clearly impacted our financial results. However, we have implemented strategic and operational changes to improve its performance and believe that we will see improved financial results in fiscal 2008.”

Tommy Bahama reported a fourth quarter net sales increase of 12.9% to $134.0m, driven by the introduction of new product offerings in Tommy Bahama Relax, Tommy Bahama Golf 18 and Tommy Bahama Women’s Swim.

Ben Sherman reported a fourth quarter 2007 net sales increase of 6.7% to $42.8m. Fourth quarter operating income for Ben Sherman increased to $2.8m from an operating loss of $0.4m in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006.

Lanier Clothes, which is comprised of tailored clothing for the Arnold Brant, Ben Sherman, Kenneth Cole, Nautica, Oscar de la Renta, Dockers and Geoffrey Beene brands as well as a variety of private label programmes, reported a net sales decline of 16.2% to $37.2m in the fourth quarter.

Oxford Apparel, which produces branded and private label dress shirts, sportswear and golf apparel, reported fourth quarter 2007 net sales of $72.4m, a decline of 14.8% compared to the year-ago level

The company noted that it expects first quarter net sales and diluted net earnings from continuing operations per common share to be at or slightly below its previously issued guidance, due to the deferral of shipments from the first quarter to the second quarter of fiscal 2008.

Lanier added: “The company, led by Tommy Bahama and bolstered by a diversified range of other brands and licenses, has a continuing opportunity to be an important supplier to the retail markets in the United States and around the globe. We believe that we have tremendous opportunities to grow our sales, drive our operating profitability, and deliver significant value to our shareholders. As we move forward in fiscal 2008, we are planning to continue our corporate repositioning, build on our strongest businesses and seek out new products, opportunities, and avenues for growth.”

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