It appears that your immediate question is being satisfactorily answered. You may also wish to consider, however, whether XML::Simple is adequate for your needs.
I, and others here, really like XML::Twig. A great deal of information is available on The XML::Twig Homepage. While XML::Twig can closely emulate the behaviour of XML::Simple, it can also do a great deal more, including handling data that XML::Simple just chokes on.
Other alternatives include XML::LibXML... Stepping up from XML::Simple to XML::LibXML, appropriately enough, discusses migrating from XML::Simple to XML::LibXML.
The point is, make sure the module is a good fit for your requirements before becoming locked in.
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