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Limited Brands February sales metric up 3 pct

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Limited Brands Inc., operator of the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works chains, said Thursday that its February revenue at stores open at least a year rose 3 percent.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a 2.6 percent rise. Revenue at stores open at least a year is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed, which can skew ongoing sales trends.

The metric rose 5 percent at Victoria's Secret stores and was unchanged at Bath & Body Works. It rose 5 percent at La Senza, Limited's Canadian lingerie store chain.

The company's total revenue in February rose 9 percent to $712.7 million.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Limited operates 2,619 stores in the U.S. It also has 700 company-operated and franchised locations in other countries.