AP News

L Brands key January revenue metric up 9 pct


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — L Brands, the owner of Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works and other retailers, said Thursday its January revenue at stores open at least a year rose 9 percent, easily beating Wall Street predictions.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected an increase of 0.5 percent. The metric is considered a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes revenue from stores that recently opened or closed.

The Columbus, Ohio, company also boosted its fourth-quarter guidance, saying that it now expects its earnings to come in "slightly above" its previous prediction of $1.60 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expect a profit of $1.61 per share.

For the four-week period that ended Feb. 1, L Brands said its total revenue dropped 26 percent to $731.2 million from $986.4 million a year ago. The year-ago figure included an extra week of sales.

For the quarter ended Feb. 1, L Brands said revenue at stores open at least a year increased 1 percent, while net sales fell 1 percent to $3.82 billion from $3.86 billion. That year-ago net sales figure also included an extra week of sales.

For the full year 2013, revenue at stores open at least a year increased 2 percent. Net sales rose 3 percent to $10.77 billion from $10.46 billion, despite the inclusion of an extra week of sales in the year-ago figure.

L Brands shares rose $1.71, or 3 percent, to $53.50 in premarket trading.


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