Limited Brands Inc, operator of the Victoria's Secret, Pink and La Senza chains, has posted a 61.4% drop in second quarter profit, but says it is pleased with its performance "in this challenging economic environment" and has raised its full-year guidance.

Net income in the quarter to 2 August fell to $102.0m, or $0.30 per share, from $264.4m, or $0.67, in the same period last year.

Last year's results benefited from a number of gains and charges, including the sale of its Express unit to affiliates of Golden Gate Capital and the divestiture of its stake in Limited Stores, the company said.

Without these, second quarter earnings per share were $0.27 compared to $0.20 last year, an increase of 35%, and net income was $93.9m compared to $80.6m last year.

Leslie Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "Our disciplined management of inventory and expenses resulted in earnings per share that exceeded our initial expectations and increased 35% over last year's comparable result in spite of negative same store sales in the quarter."

Net sales in the quarter fell 13 % to $2.284bn from $2.624bn last year, which was buoyed by sales at the Express stores, and Comparable store sales were down 7%.

In its outlook, Limired Brands said it expects third quarter earnings per share to be $0.00 to $0.04 compared to a loss of $0.01 per share last year.

For the full year, earnings per share are seen at $1.45 to $1.60.