Apparel retailer Limited Brands Inc, which operates chains including Limited, Victoria's Secret and Express, on Thursday reported higher fourth quarter earnings in what it described as "a very difficult retail environment." For the quarter ended 1 February earnings were 66 cents per diluted share, compared with 75 cents a share a year earlier. Operating income was $587.6 million compared to $588.4 million last year, and net income was $352.9 million compared to $326.5 million last year.