Limited Brands Inc. on Wednesday reported net income in the second quarter ended Aug. 4 more than doubled to $264.3 million on a 6.9 percent increase in sales to $2.62 billion. This compares with income of $113.1 million on sales of $2.45 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier.
Earnings per share was 67 cents, compared with 28 cents a year earlier.
Limited, which earlier this year spun off its Limited and Express divisions, said the boost in profits resulted from several exceptional gains during the quarter. These included a $302 million pre-tax gain, or 46 cents a share, related to the sale of a 75 percent stake in Express to companies related to Golden Gate Capital; a tax benefit of $39 million, or 10 cents a share, related to the sale of its apparel brands; a gain of $100 million, or 15 cents a share, as a result of the refinancing of Easton Town Center, and a pre-tax gain of $17 million, or 2 cents a share, from an interest rate hedge in the first quarter.
Exceptional losses in the period included a pre-tax loss of $73 million, or 20 cents a share, from the sale of a 75 percent interest in Limited Stores to Sun Capital Partners Inc., and a charge of $47 million, or 7 cents a share, related to cutting 10 percent of its home office head count and the sale of noncore assets.
While a conference call relating to the numbers will be held today, Limited said in a statement that it remains "comfortable" with its earlier estimate for the third and fourth quarters. "This outlook includes the impact of the previously announced transactions and initiatives and our view of fall business performance," the company said.
Limited sold off its apparel brands in order to focus on its intimate apparel and beauty operations, which include Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, C.O. Bigelow, La Senza, White Barn Candle Co. and Henri Bendel. Limited operates 2,895 stores in North America.
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