Intimate apparel and toiletries chain Limited Brands Inc on Monday raised its dividend by a third and approved a $150 million stock repurchase program as part of its shareholder value initiatives.

The Ohio-based operator of famous lingerie chain Victoria's Secret said in a statement it had lifted its annual dividend to 40 cents a share from 30 cents a share.

Chairman and CEO, Leslie Wexner, said: "I believe that the economic environment is going to remain challenging, and we are focused on maintaining our powerful financial position and disciplined management of the business.

"This means maintaining the strength and flexibility of our capital structure. I believe these steps allow us to efficiently return capital back to our shareholders and continue to grow the business."