First quarter net income at Limited Brands was $97.5 million, nearly double the $49.9 million in net income for the same period last year.
However, the company got a boost from the sale of about half its interest in Alliance Data Systems Corp., a provider of marketing and credit services and several other adjustments. Without that gain, and with several other adjustments, net income was $49.8 million compared to $76.9 million a year ago.
Comparable store sales in the quarter ended May 3 were down 1 percent while net sales of $1.84 billion increased 2 percent.
The company’s brands include Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Express, Express Men’s, Limited Stores, White Barn Candle Co. and Henri Bendel.
Also yesterday, Nordstrom Inc., Seattle, posted net earnings of $27.2 million in the first quarter of 2003 that ended May 3. During the same period last year, the net loss amounted to $24.6 million. Net sales for the first quarter of 2003 increased 3.5 percent to $1.3 billion compared to sales of $1.2 billion in the same period last year. First quarter 2003 same-store sales fell 1.4 percent.