By  on February 23, 2012

Sales at Limited Brands Inc. topped $10 billion last year, while the net income rose 5.7 percent to $850.1 million from $804.8 million in 2010.

Earnings per diluted share rose to $2.70 for the year ended Jan. 28 compared with $2.42 the year before. Comp-store sales rose 10 percent; total sales came to $10.4 billion last year versus $9.6 billion.

However, there were fourth-quarter declines. Net income dropped to $359.4 million from $452.3 million, and net EPS came to $1.17 compared to $1.36. Net sales were $3.51 billion, up a bit from $3.46 billion the year before; comp-store sales rose 7 percent.

Limited Brands, operator of Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, stressed that certain significant charges and gains affected the results. On an adjusted basis, EPS for the year increased 26 percent to $2.60 compared with $2.06, and net income was $817.3 million versus $684.5 million. Adjusted fourth-quarter EPS rose 19 percent to $1.50 compared with $1.26 a year ago; net income was $459.2 million compared with $419.7 million.

The significant items in 2011, resulting in a charge of 33 cents per share, included a pretax gain of $110.8 million from selling a sourcing business; a pretax, principally noncash charge of $256.1 million related to intangible asset impairment and restructurings involving closing some La Senza stores, and a tax benefit of $28.4 million.

The company expects 2012 full-year EPS of between $2.60 and $2.80, including EPS between 35 cents and 40 cents in the first quarter. February comp-store sales are expected to be up mid- to high-single digits versus the previous estimate of up low-single digits. Limited also said its $250 million share repurchase program has been completed and that the board authorized a new $500 million share repurchase program.

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