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L Brands keeps its nerve on pricing and reaps margin reward in Q2

Victorias-Secret-swimwear

L Brands has been something of a bright spot in a womenswear sector plagued by markdown fever and it stayed that way in Q2 as its margin rate showed – up to 40.3% from 39% a year ago.

The retail giant’s earnings rose a healthy 7.5% to $202.5m/68 cents a share on the back of that margin growth and higher sales. Revenue, it said earlier, rose 3.4% to $2.77bn and comp sales were up 4%.

Victoria’s Secret continued a strong run with comp sales up 3% but the Bath & Body Works unit saw even stronger growth with a 5% hike.

The company raised its guidance for full-year EPS to $3.58-$3.73 from $3.50-$3.70, but for Q3 it’s only expecting EPS of ¬40-45 cents, well below the 47-48 cents analysts are looking for.

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