US-based retailer Bath & Body Works has “narrowed” its guidance for the full year as it recorded “better than expected” results.

Bath and Body Works

The group reported net sales of $1.3bn (£1bn) for the first quarter to May 4, 2024, a small decline of 0.9% compared to the same period last year.

It also posted operating income of $187m (£146m) compared to $181m (£141m) last year. Net income was $87m (£68m) in the quarter, up from $81m (£63m) last year.

Bath & Body Works has narrowed its guidance by “raising the midpoint for both the top and bottom lines”. It expects net sales to range between a decline of 2.5% to 0%, relative to $7.4bn (£5.7bn) of net sales in the previous financial year.

It forecasts second-quarter net sales to range between a decrease of 2% to 0%, compared with the $1.5bn (£1.1bn) in the second quarter in 2023.

During the first quarter, the retailer opened its first standalone store in London’s Westfield White City. It also trades through concessions in Next in the UK.

Chief executive Gina Boswell said: “We delivered a better-than-expected start to the year with net sales and earnings per share above the high-end of our guidance range. 

“We are particularly excited with the success of our product introductions and newness, which drove the performance of both our core business and new adjacencies. 

“Our focus on building strong brand awareness and engagement is delivering greater customer retention and loyalty. 

“With our strong start to the year, we are pleased to narrow our full-year guidance range while raising the midpoint for both the top and bottom lines. 

“I am proud of the way our team is executing our strategic initiatives and looking ahead, we remain confident in our ability to deliver long-term profitable growth.”