NEW YORK — If sweaters had sold as well as bras during the fourth quarter, Limited Brands chief executive Leslie Wexner would be a very happy man.

Instead, apparel sales and margins lagged behind those of innerwear dynamo Victoria’s Secret, holding down Limited Brands’ fourth-quarter bottom-line increases to 8.1 percent. Additionally, chief financial officer Ann Hailey said the company expects a 10 to 20 percent decline in earnings per share for the first half of the year, with flat to slightly better results in the second quarter offsetting declines in the first, and full-year EPS comparisons of flat to up 5 percent.

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