By  on November 16, 2011

Strong sales and a tax benefit pushed net income at Limited Brands Inc. ahead 53.8 percent in the third quarter ended Oct. 29 to $94.3 million from $61.3 million in the year-ago period.

Earnings per share rose to 31 cents from 18 cents a year ago.

The third quarter this year included a tax benefit of $16.7 million, or 6 cents a share. Excluding that, the third quarter net came to $77.6 million, while EPS rose to 25 cents.

In addition, Limited increased its forecast for full-year earnings to $2.38 to $2.53 a share on an adjusted basis, from $2.35 to $2.50 previously.

Comparable-store sales for the third quarter increased 9 percent; net sales rose to $2.17 billion from $1.98 billion last year.

Third-quarter operating income was $186.1 million compared to $149.1 million last year. The company stated that it expects adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.28 to $1.43 per share.

Limited operates Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel.

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