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ATLANTA-Tommy Bahama and Ben Sherman, two brands operated by Oxford Industries Inc., are expected to grow substantially during fiscal year 2006, accordingto the company’s chairman and CEO J. Hicks Lanier.

Oxford plans to open eight Tommy Bahama stores during fiscal year 2006, bringing the total number of stores in the United States to 60. Eleven Tommy Bahama storesopened during fiscal 2005. The first Ben Sherman stores in the US will open during the same period, one in Los Angeles and one in New York City. The company will open also open two Ben Sherman stores in the brand’s home country of the United Kingdom, boasting the total number of stores to four.

“The Tommy Bahama and Ben Sherman brands just continue to perform well, generating strong growth and an increasing percentage of our profitability,” Hicksays. “Looking forward, we are enthusiastic about the positioning and growth prospects of our various segments.”

For the full fiscal year 2006, Oxford projects total sales of $1.37 billion to $1.39 billion, driven by growth in the Tommy Bahama and Ben Sherman brands. Thecompany expects first quarter sales in the range of $325 million to $335 million and first quarter earnings to be between 55 cents and 60 cents per share.

Oxford forecasts its Tommy Bahama brand to grow in mid to high single digits, while its womenswear segment will be flat, and the menswear segment will spike 11%to 13%. “We are particularly encouraged by the Menswear Group, which has shown strength in both the Ben Sherman brand and the ‘legacy’ business,” says a report issued by Jeffrey P. Klinefelter, a senior research analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co.

The report contends that Tommy Bahama is evolving into a leading national lifestyle brand. “The brand offers growth opportunities within the women’s business, the Indigo Palms brand and through the continued rollout of Tommy Bahama retail stores,” it says.

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