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Limited Brands Reports December 2009 Sales; Raises Q4 2009 Earnings Guidance

Posted: January 7, 2010

Limited Brands, Inc. reported a comparable store sales decrease of 2% for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, 2010, compared to the five weeks ended Jan. 3, 2009. The company reported net sales of $1.660 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, 2010, compared to net sales of $1.644 billion last year.

"We are very pleased with our holiday performance," said Les Wexner, chairman and CEO, Limited Brands. "We managed inventory and expenses conservatively, and focused on execution and speed to maximize sales and margin. Going forward, we plan to continue our conservative management of the business and increase our emphasis on speed and agility."

The company reported a comparable store sales decrease of 5% for the 48 weeks ended Jan. 2, 2010, compared to the 48 weeks ended Jan. 3, 2009. The company reported net sales of $8.010 billion for the 48 weeks ended Jan. 2, 2010, compared to sales of $8.451 billion last year.

Sales and merchandise margin rates for the fourth quarter to date are above the company's initial expectations. As a result, the company is raising its fourth quarter 2009 earnings guidance to $0.92 to $0.97 per share, versus its previous guidance of $0.71 to $0.86 per share.