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Victoria’s Secret Sees Progress Despite Wider-Than-Forecast Loss

Victoria's Secret store.
The intimates retailer, which has been working to reinvent its image, said its efforts are starting to pay off. (Shutterstock)

Victoria’s Secret & Co. reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss amid a rise in investment in marketing and technology, but the company said its efforts are starting to pay off.

A third-quarter loss of 86 cents a share, after excluding some items, was deeper than the average analyst estimate of an 80-cent loss. Comparable sales, meanwhile, posted a seventh consecutive quarterly decline. However, the company said its sales in November are the “best monthly performance in nearly two years and further evidence that our initiatives are working.”

The intimates retailer has been working to reinvent its image after years of backlash to its sexy imagery that stopped resonating with consumers. During an investor conference in October, the company emphasised the expansion of its swim and sport categories, as well as the fashion show, known as the World Tour, which were meant to drive traffic at stores.

In addition to the increase in investments, the company blamed declining sales for its most recent loss.

“Our teams have been resiliently focused on what is within our control and working tirelessly on multiple growth initiatives designed to create momentum,” chief executive Martin Waters said in a statement.

Shares alternated between losses and gains in late trading. The stock has declined 34 percent this year through Wednesday’s close, compared with a 17 percent increase in the Russell 3000 Index.

A separate report Wednesday showed PVH Corp., the owner of Calvin Klein apparel and another maker of intimates, reported third-quarter earnings that missed estimates. The company also projects a weaker-than-expected performance in the current period. The shares fell 4 percent at 5:01 PM. in extended New York trading.

By Olivia Rockeman

Learn more:

Why Victoria’s Secret Is Bringing Sexy Back

A much-hyped image revamp has failed to win back customers. On Thursday, the company told investors about Plan B: spruce up stores, expand into new categories and bring back a bit of the old Victoria’s Secret. As one executive put it, “sexiness can be inclusive.”

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