The lingerie and beauty company — which includes Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, Victoria’s Secret Beauty and the Pink brands — revealed quarterly and full-year earnings results Wednesday after the market closed. The assorted details show that while top-line sales improved across the board, bottom-line profits decreased during the most recent quarter. In addition, the firm is forecasting its current-quarter sales figures downward on account of continued supply chain headwinds and lack of last year’s stimulus checks.
Investors seemed unsure of what to make of the news. Company shares, which closed up 6.68 percent Wednesday to $54.33 apiece, continued to teeter back and forth, from positive to negative, during after-hours trading.
But Martin Waters, chief executive officer of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, said he’s satisfied with the most recent quarterly results, considering the current macro headwinds plaguing the entire retail industry.
“Our associates across the globe focused on execution and delivered upon all of our financial expectations while continuing to transform our brand, enhance our customer experience and strengthen our dominant merchandise positioning in the intimates category,” he said in a statement. “Twenty-twenty-one was a milestone year for our company, our first as a public company. I am pleased that we delivered on our major objectives and I would like to thank all of our associates, supplier partners, board of directors and shareholders for your support. We are keenly aware 2022 will present continued challenges for retailers in this inflationary environment. However, we have a very resilient, dedicated team and strategy prepared to meet these challenges head-on by focusing on the customer journey, being ‘best at bras,’ prioritizing people and planet and launching new initiatives for future growth.”
For the three-month period ending Jan. 29, total company revenues grew 4 percent to $2.17 billion, compared with $2.1 billion during 2020’s fourth quarter. Total comparable sales for the quarter also increased, up one percent, year-over-year. In fact, most of the gains throughout the quarter were made in stores, signaling consumers’ desire to shop IRL.
Victoria’s Secret’s North American brick-and-mortar store business generated more than $1.3 billion in revenues for the quarter, up from $1.16 billion a year ago. That’s an increase of 12.2 percent. Meanwhile, the direct channel, which includes e-commerce, fell 13.6 percent during the quarter to $718 million, down from $831 million a year ago.
Still, the company managed to log a $246 million quarterly profit, compared with approximately $282 million during the same quarter last year.
For the full year, total company revenues surpassed $6.78 billion, a 25 percent increase from roughly $5.4 billion a year earlier. In addition, total comparable sales rose 3 percent, year-over-year. And much like the recent quarter, comparable store sales were up 10 percent for the year, while comparable store and direct sales combined were up just 3 percent for the year.
The company logged more than $646 million for the year as a result, compared with losses of about $72.3 million a year earlier.
Despite recent successes, Victoria’s Secret is forecasting its current-quarter revenues numbers down — in the range of $1.4 billion to $1.49 billion, compared with 2021’s first-quarter sales volume of $1.55 billion — thanks to continued supply-chain disruptions and the absence of last year’s stimulus check, which the company said drove higher-sales and operating income for the quarter.
In addition, the retailer is anticipating operating income in the range of $80 million to $110 million, compared with more than $225 million in 2021, and diluted earnings-per-share in the range of $0.70 to $0.95, compared with earnings-per-diluted-share of $1.97 a year ago.
The company is forecasting 2022’s full-year revenues will be flat to up to low-single digits, compared with 2021’s sales of more than $6.78 billion. The firm said it is also expecting to add supply-chain costs, such as increased freight and raw material expenses for the first half, to be roughly $140 million, slightly above 2021’s back-half supply-chain costs.
“We believe we have sufficient visibility into current trends to estimate a potential range of financial outcomes for the first quarter and also provide guidance for the full year,” the company said in a statement. “We believe the challenging environment will likely continue for at least the first half of the year, ranging from supply-chain pressures to rising inflation and the potential for consumer uncertainty with the recent global unrest. With that as a backdrop, we believe our operating-income levels will be directionally in line with 2021 results, with the first half of the year below last year and the back half of the year returning to growth.
“In contrast, we expect the third quarter to be an inflection point with a return to operating profit growth in the back half of the year,” the company continued in written remarks. “We expect sales growth and operating profit rates to be more in line with the longer-range targets we previously communicated.”
In addition, Victoria’s Secret said it completed its previously announced plans to repurchase $250 million in common stock from shareholders.
The retailer ended the quarter with 933 stores, of which about 875 are located in North America, and said it plans to open 15 new VS Stores of the Future this year. That’s in addition to 10 to 30 closures for 2022 and another 20 renovations with the new store design.
Shares of Victoria’s Secret & Company are down approximately 6.69 percent, since the company’s August debut on the public market.