(Reuters) - L Brands Inc (LB.N) on Wednesday reported a surprise quarterly profit boosted by strong demand for Bath & Body Works’ sanitizers and soaps, as well as higher online sales of Victoria’s Secret lingerie during coronavirus-led lockdowns.

The pandemic-fuelled temporary store closures, which have pushed many retailers into bankruptcy, led to 850 jobs cuts at L Brand’s home office and permanent closing of some Victoria’s Secret stores, after a stake sale in the unit fell apart.

The company’s direct channel, which includes its online store that remained open throughout the quarter, proved to be a bright spot as customers flocked to shop virtually.

That helped comparable sales for Bath & Body Works surge 123%, while that for Victoria’s Secret rise 28%.

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