LONDON – The Body Shop International PLC has reported a 5 percent increase in full-year profits and has said that sales have improved in the New Year. The shop had been criticized for agreeing to a £652 million takeover by cosmetics giant L’Oreal in March.
Like-for-like sales were up by 5 percent in the eight weeks to April 22. This sales trend was much better than corresponding figures for last year, the firm said. Body Shop said pre-tax profit in the year ending 25 February increased 5 percent to £37.6 million. The Littlehampton-based company said that operating profit increased 6 percent to £41.5 million during the same time. There was also a 7 percent increase in total retail sales to £772.0 million, the firm added.
“Our overall retail sales performance demonstrates the global strength of The Body Shop brand. The roll out of our new store format has progressed during the year and we have continued to grow,” said Body Shop executive chairman Adrian Bellamy. “The Body Shop At Home and e-commerce channels in line with our multi-channel strategy. We have also expanded into new markets, with store openings taking place in both Russia and Jordan during the year.”
L’Oreal’s 300 pence a share offer has been agreed to by 89 percent of the Body Shop’s shareholders, the French firm announced last night. It also extended the deadline to May 31.The sale will fetch about £130 million for Gordon and Anita Roddick, the founders of Body Shop.
Commenting on the recent results, a Body Shop spokesman said, “As we can see from current trading, our customers continue to shop with us and buy our ethical profits. Body Shop has the highest ethical standards, particularly when it comes to animal testing, and that is not going to change at all.”