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L Brands sees sales lift in 2018, profits dip

Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands said sales for the year increased in 2018 despite decreasing comp sales at the company’s lingerie brand, which led to profits sliding.

SEE ALSO : The Angels have landed in HK – Victoria’s Secret first flagship store is now open

The U.S. lingerie, beauty and homewares firm said net sales in 2018 reached $13.237 billion, compared to $12.632 billion. Total company comparable sales increased 3% in 2018, thanks to a strong comparable sales rise of 11% at Bath & Body Works banner. However, annual comps were hindered by a 2% decrease at the struggling Victoria’s Secret, which set the course for the company’s bottom line.

The company’s full-year operating income totaled $1.237 billion, compared to $1.728 billion in fiscal 2017, while net income came to $643.9 million, or $2.31 per share, compared to $983.0 million, or $3.42 per share.

For the fourth quarter, L Brands said net sales for the thirteen weeks ended February 2, 2019, totalled $4.852 billion, a slight increase from the $4.823 billion.

Likewise, L Brands’ fourth-quarter operating income in the last quarter came to $799.4 million, down from $986.6 million in the prior-year period, and net income fell to $540.1 million, compared to $664.1 million.

Profit in the quarter was negatively impacted by $99.24 million in expenses related to the company’s sale of La Senza.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects 2019 full-year earnings per share to be between $2.20 and $2.60, including close to breakeven earnings per share result in the first quarter.

SEE ALSO : Victoria’s Secret opens first flagship store in Australia

The lacklustre result is a common theme for the lingerie brand in recent quarters, which has dragged down L Brands’ overall results over the last year, as it struggles to keep up with changing consumer tastes, which are increasingly prioritizing inclusivity, body positivity and comfort.

In a move to improve the business, Victoria’s Secret recently reintroduced its discontinued swimwear range. It also opened its first flagship store in Australia late last year.