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Owner of Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works raises profit outlook

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Things are looking up in 2021 for Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.

Shares of L Brands — the retail empire founded by billionaire Les Wexner that owns the two chains — rose more than 6 percent on Friday after the company raised its financial outlook.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company is hiking its earnings guidance “due to strong sales and margin results quarter-to-date,” chief executive Andrew Meslow said in a statement on Friday, adding that the increase “also contributed to an improvement in our expectations for the remainder of the quarter.”

L Brands now expects first-quarter earnings in a range of 55 cents to 65 cents a share, up from from 35 cents to 45 cents a share. The company also said it plans to pay down $1 billion in debt through 2025, reinstate its dividend and buy back shares.

Bath & Body Works has grown exponentially during the pandemic as consumers scooped up soaps and hand sanitizer and fragrances for their home, while Victoria’s Secret has doubled down on a turnaround plan that is starting to reap benefits.

 “L Brands took a series of actions throughout 2020 to improve financial and operational performance, which led to record third and fourth quarter results,” board chair Sarah Nash said in a statement.

The lingerie giant, whose deal to be sold last year got scrapped with the onset of the pandemic, is being shopped right now to private equity firms as L Brands is planning to either spin it off as a separate company or sell it by August, the company announced last year.

Shares of L Brands, the retail empire founded by billionaire Les Wexner that owns the two chains, rose more than 6 percent.
Shares of L Brands, the retail empire founded by billionaire Les Wexner that owns the two chains, rose more than 6 percent.
TNS via ZUMA Wire

While the previous sale to private-equity Sycamore Partners had valued Victoria’s Secret at $1 billion, industry experts told The Post last month that the company’s improving business could fetch more than four times that figure.

In the fourth quarter, comparable sales increased 10 percent — up 22 percent at Bath & Body Works and down 3 percent at Victoria’s Secret — while online sales surged 74 percent and 33 percent at BBW and Victoria’s Secret, respectively, according to the company.

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