Lingerie and sex toys beat downturn as profits boom

It’s carnage on the high street. Debenhams, M&S, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s are all in trouble with their shareholders for dwindling Christmas sales. But amid all the grim reports comes the uplifting news that British shoppers are still finding the cash to spend on lingerie and sex toys.

Luxury lingerie company Agent Provocateur and sex toy firm Lovehoney have both seen sales and profits explode this year.

Profits at Lovehoney trebled in the year to March 31 2013, with the exclusive licence to sell 50 Shades of Grey merchandise boosting its sales.

Turnover hit £23.6m, an increase of 51% over the year, and the company recorded profits of £2.25m following the introduction of its vintage styled Swoon range, which was launched in Boots this year. Lovehoney also saw a 45% surge in sales over Christmas, making the period the busiest in the company’s 11 year history.

Co-founder Neal Slateford said to the Guardian: “As the switch from the high street to online gathers pace, we have been very effective in becoming the leading online destination for sexual happiness shoppers.”

Similarly, high-end lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur, which has boutique stores in cities across the world, saw pre-tax profits more than double in the year to March 2013.

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