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Lingerie, beauty & 'PINK' brand propel Limited Brands

18
May '06
Limited Brands reported 2006 first quarter results.

Earnings per share increased 56 percent to $0.25 for the first quarter compared to $0.16 (before cumulative effect of accounting change of $0.04) last year.

Operating income was $185.9 million compared to $118.5 million last year, and net income before cumulative effect of accounting changes was $98.7 million compared to $66.4 million last year.

Comparable store sales for the quarter ended April 29, 2006 increased 5 percent and net sales were $2.077 billion compared to $1.975 billion last year.

Leslie H. Wexner, Chairman and CEO, stated "We are very pleased with our first quarter performance. We delivered earnings that were $0.09 per share above our initial guidance, driven by better than expected performance across all of our segments."

"In particular, Victoria's Secret, which accounted for over half of the Company's total first quarter sales, achieved outstanding results across all channels, including lingerie, beauty, direct and the new brand PINK."

"Total Victoria's Secret sales increased 10 percent and operating income increased 21 percent. Express comps increased 4 percent and the brand delivered substantially improved merchandise margins and operating income."

The Company stated that it expects second quarter earnings per share to be between $0.22 and $0.24 versus $0.20 last year. The second quarter projection includes an estimated charge of $0.01 per share for the recognition of stock option expense under Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123R, which the Company adopted in the first quarter of 2006.


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