Reuters

(Reuters)

L Brands Sales Rose 6% in March

Features Dow Jones Newswires

L Brands Inc. (LB) said Thursday that its March sales increased 6% from the year before, sending shares up 1.4% in premarket trading.

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L Brands is the owner of Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works and its own eponymous brand.

For the five weeks ended Saturday, sales rose to $981.2 million, helped by the early Easter date. Excluding newly opened stores, sales grew 9% overall, as well as in all three of its brand segments.

For the nine weeks ended Saturday, sales increased 7% on both a total and comparable-store basis.

The Columbus, Ohio-based retailer has been a relative bright spot in an industry that has faced issues such as markdowns and online shopping in recent years. In its most recently ended quarter, net sales rose 7%. In February, it raised its annual dividend by 47% and announced a special dividend of $2 a share.

Shares of L Brands have been up about 9% this year through Wednesday's close.

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(By Angela Chen)