FINANCE

Limited Q1 profit advances, raises guidance

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbus, Ohio — L Brands Inc., formerly known as Limited Brands, reported Wednesday that profit for the quarter ended May 4 surged 14% to $142.5 million, from $124.6 million last year. The Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works parent increased its outlook for the year.

Quarterly sales rose 5% to $2.27 billion from $2.15 billion, edging Wall Street’s expected $2.26 billion in revenue. Same-store sales increased 3%.

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FINANCE

Rue21 to be acquired by Apax Partners in $1.1 billion deal

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Apax Partners will acquire the 900-store, teen apparel retailer Rue 21 in a deal valued at about $1.1 billion. The private equity firm, which has a 30% stake in Rue21, also owns Cole Haan and Takko Fashion as part of its retail portfolio.

Rue21’s board approved the transaction based on a unanimous recommendation by a special committee made up of three independent directors. The company has set up a special committee of independent directors to solicit and evaluate higher bids during a 40-day go-shop period.

Rue21 has been expanding, and is on track to open its 1,000th location by the end of the year. It eventually plans to expand its presence to more than 1,700 locations.

“We are proud that a sophisticated investor such as Apax continues to believe in our core strategy and recognizes our value-generating capabilities,” said Bob Fisch, chairman, president and CEO of Rue21. “This transaction will allow us to focus on achieving our long-term objectives, including growing our business to over 1,700 stores in the U.S. and successfully implementing new initiatives such as e-commerce and rueMan."

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Record results for Dollar Tree in Q1

BY CSA STAFF

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Dollar Tree achieved the highest first-quarter operating margin in its history in the first quarter ended May 4.

Consolidated net sales for the first quarter ended May 4 were $1.9 billion, an 8% increase from $1.7 billion for the quarter ended April 28 last year. The value retailer saw a comparable store sales increase of 2% on top of a 6% increase for the first quarter last year.

"I am pleased with the company’s first quarter performance," said president and CEO Bob Sasser. “Sales continued to grow, and our earnings per share increased by 18%. Our stores are executing at a high level and we are well positioned with great assortments and the best values ever for Memorial Day, graduation and an exciting summer selling season.”

During the first quarter, Dollar Tree opened 94 stores, closed 2 stores and expanded or relocated 16 stores. It operates 4,763 stores in 48 states and 5 Canadian provinces.

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