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Lanier Clothes reports breakeven operating results

11
Jun '08
Oxford Industries Inc announced financial results for its fiscal 2008 first quarter ended May 3, 2008. Consolidated net sales were $272.9 million in the first quarter compared to $292.4 million in the same period of the prior year, which was the three months ended May 4, 2007.

Diluted net earnings per common share were $0.59 in the first quarter compared to $0.95 in the same period of the prior year and were in line with the Company's previously issued guidance range of $0.55 to $0.60.

J. Hicks Lanier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Industries Inc, commented, "Our first quarter results were consistent with our expectations and, importantly, we were able to exert careful control over our inventory levels during the quarter.

In the quarter, we had strong cash flow from operating activities, inventories were down 17% from last year and we experienced a slight uptick in our overall gross margins. As a result, total debt was reduced by $33 million during the quarter."

Mr. Lanier continued, "Unfortunately, as our guidance revision reflects, the external environment has become increasingly challenging. We believe that it is prudent to assume that we will see continued deterioration in sales in our company-owned retail stores as well as in our wholesale business. We will continue to manage our business conservatively with regard to inventory and are reducing expenses across the organization."

Tommy Bahama reported net sales of $129.3 million for the first quarter compared to $131.8 million in the same period of the prior year. The slight sales decrease was driven by softness in both wholesale sales and company-owned retail stores.

Tommy Bahama's operating income for the first quarter was $19.5 million compared to $26.5 million in the same period of the prior year. While gross margins remained strong, the impact of lower sales and increased marketing expenses were the primary factors in the reduction in operating income.

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