(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Comparable sales at Victoria’s Secret stores (including PINK) in the U.S. and Canada rose 4% in January, while Victoria’s Secret direct sales dropped the same amount. Meanwhile, parent company L Brands reported an overall increase in sales for the quarter and year, as well as a several other pieces of encouraging news.
On February 5th L announced it was increasing its regular dividend by 47%, declared a special $2 dividend, said it was authorizing a new $250 million share repurchase program and raised its fourth quarter 2014 earnings guidance.
The company, which also owns Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, “reported net sales of $783.1 million for the four-week period ended January 31, 2015, an increase of 7% compared to sales of $731.2 million for the four-week period ended February 1, 2014. Comparable store sales for the four weeks ended January 31, 2015, increased 7%.”
“Net sales for the fourth quarter ended January 31, 2015, were $4.069 billion, an increase of 7% compared to $3.818 billion for the quarter ended February 1, 2014. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter ended January 31, 2015, increased 6%.”
For the year ended January 31, 2015, L reported net sales were $11.454 billion, “an increase of 6% compared to $10.773 billion for the year ended February 1, 2014. Comparable stores sales for the year ended January 31, 2015, increased 4%.”
The company is increasing its annual ordinary dividend by 47%, to $2.00 per share from $1.36 per share.
In announcing its results, L broke out the results for its divisions. Company-owned Victoria’s Secret stores in the U.S. and Canada (including PINK but not La Senza) totaled $1,914.2 million for the 4th quarter of 2014 compared to $1,797.7 million for the same period in 2013. For the year, Victoria’s Secret and PINK stores in the U.S. and Canada recorded sales of $5,700.2 million compared to $5,368.1 million for 2013. Victoria’s Secret direct sales for the 4th quarter dropped to $492.1 million from $504.5 million for the same period in 2013, while for the year direct sales dropped to $1,507.4 million from $1,516.1 million.
The company also reported that in the period from February 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015 it increased the number of Victoria’s Secret stores in the U.S. by a net of six to 983, increased the number of PINK stores here by a net of 32 to 115; increased the number of Victoria’s Secret stores in Canada by 7 to 31; and maintained the number of PINK stores in Canada at ten.
L also added three Victoria’s Secret stores in the U.K., increasing the total to 8; opened its first two PINK stores in the U.K.; and closed 12 La Senza stores in Canada, dropping the total there to 145.
In listing the store totals for its franchise stores in other parts of the world, L Brands reported an increase of a net 92 Victoria’s Secret Beauty & Accessories stores, raising the total to 290; an increase of 9 Victoria’s Secret International stores, raising the total to 13; the opening of its first PINK International store; and the closing of 71 Las Senza International stores (and the opening of six) to end up with a total of 266 by the start of February, 2015.
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