Limited Brands has lowered its February sales forecasts after posting an 11.6% drop in profit during the company's fourth quarter.

Limited, which owns intimate apparel retailers Victoria's Secret and La Senza, recorded a fall in fourth quarter net income to US$388.6m from $439.8m in the same period last year.

Sales for the three-month period ended 2 February plunged to $3.3bn from just over $4bn last year, with comparable store sales down 8%.

Full-year net income was up from $675m to $718m, but only because of the effect of a number of exceptional items.

Net sales fell from $10.7bn to $10.1bn, with comparable store sales down 2%.

Now Limited expects February comparable store sales to be "in the negative low double-digit range", compared to earlier forecasts of mid to high single-digit falls.

First quarter earnings per share will be in the $0.05-0.10 range, said the company, while full year fiscal 2008 EPS will be $1.35-1.55.