UPDATE 2-L Brands results beat on home fragrances, lingerie demand

(Adds details on results from prepared remarks, statement)

Nov 18 (Reuters) - L Brands Inc posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday, helped by record sales growth at Bath & Body Works and higher demand for Victoria’s Secret lingerie, sending the company’s shares 16% higher in extended trading.

A sharper focus on hygiene standards during the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted sales of soaps, lotions and sanitizers at Bath & Body Works, with consumers staying indoors also spending on scented candles.

The business posted a 56% jump in comparable sales in the third quarter.

L Brands also saw a 4% rise in comparable sales at Victoria’s Secret, as the business benefited from the relaunch of its “Body by Victoria” lingerie line and higher demand for sleepwear from customers “nesting” at home.

Chief Executive Officer Andrew Meslow said customers’ early response to the holiday shopping season was encouraging, but the company remained cautious due to COVID-19.

“We are cautious about our ability to exceed last year’s fourth quarter sales and earnings results, given anticipated constraints on store traffic, online fulfillment and shipping capacity,” he said.

Net income came in at $330.6 million, or $1.17 per share, for the three months ended Oct. 31, compared with a loss of $252 million, or 91 cents per share, a year earlier, when it recorded some impairment charges.

On an adjusted basis, it earned $1.13 per share, more than analysts’ average estimate of 9 cents per share, Refinitiv IBES data showed.

Net sales rose 14% to $3.06 billion, easily exceeding expectations of $2.67 billion.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni