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L Brands boosts 1st-quarter earnings outlook

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- L Brands is raising its first-quarter earnings forecast after seeing strong sales at its Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works stores.

The retailer on Thursday released an earnings forecast of 50 to 52 cents per share.

That's better than the per-share earnings of 48 cents that industry analysts had projected, and also the company's earlier forecast of 44 to 49 cents per share.

L Brands also owns Pink, La Senza and Henri Bendel.

For the four weeks ended May 4, L Brands Inc. said sales at stores open at least a year climbed 8 percent. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a 4.3 percent rise in the metric.

That figure is used as an industry barometer because it excludes the volatility that comes with stores that have been recently opened or closed.

Total revenue rose 9 percent to $7.17.6 million in April.

First-quarter sales at stores open at least a year increased 2 percent, with total revenue up 5 percent to $2.39 billion.

L Brands, formerly known as Limited Brands, is based in Columbus.