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Lovehoney posts 68% rise in profits following international and domestic growth

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Lovehoney today reported pre-tax profits up by 68% in its latest financial year thanks to growth driven by the increasing mass-market appeal of the sex toys that it sells online – led by its exclusive Fifty Shades Darker licensed ranges.

The retailer, ranked in the Top250 in IRUK Top500 research, today said sales of £58.1m in the year to the end of March 2016 were 29% up on the £44.9m reported at the same time last year, while pre-tax profits of £5.1m were 68% up on the £3.1m reported last time.

During the year, the retailer expanded in Australia and America, lifting global staff numbers by 25%, from 171 to 214. Localised websites serve customers through site specific deals, offers, and are supported with a strategy of opening oversease fulfilment centres. In both the UK and non-UK markets, the retailer focused on improving own-brand Lovehoney sales.

In the UK, improvements to the website included making it easier to use on mobile devices.

In April, Lovehoney received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for boosting international sales. Lovehoney owners Richard Longhurst and Neal Slateford are pictured when they visited Buckingham Palace in July to meet the Queen, Prince Philip and other royals at an official reception for Queen’s Award winners.

Unveiling full-year results, Longhurst said: “We have enjoyed another record year and we expect the new Fifty Shades Darker movie coming out in February to be a significant sales driver.

“We are the UK’s most profitable sex toy retailer and it was great to achieve official recognition from the Queen.

“We are incredibly proud that a start-up business in the South West has risen to international prominence.

“Amid the current political climate, Lovehoney is well-positioned to continue its international expansion and we feel confident that the business will continue to thrive.”

Plans for the next year include using TV advertising to capitalise on the interest in sex toys sparked by the Fifty Shades Darker movie which is released globally around Valentine’s Day next year.

The first Fifty Shades film, starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, was the biggest grossing adult movie of all time.

The trailer to the latest film broke Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ previous record with 114 million views in the first 24 hours.

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