Lovehoney posts double-digit growth amid rising demand for sex toys

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Lovehoney sex
// Full-year pre-tax profits up 11.6% to £9.2m
// Sales up 17% to £84.8m for the same period
// Christmas sales surged 30.5%
// Growth credited to popularity of sex toys and investment in overseas warehouses

Lovehoney has enjoyed another record year after posting double digit growth in profits and sales amid an increasing demand for sex toys and investment in overseas distribution centres.

The online sexual wellbeing retailer said pre-tax profits surged by 11.6 per cent to £9.2 million during its 2017/18 financial year ending March 31, boosted by further investment in international distribution and customer service.

Turnover was also up 17 per cent to £84.8 million, amid strong demand for Lovehoney’s own-brand products.

All Lovehoney territories saw growth, especially the £31.6 million increase in Australia and North America – or a 67 per cent rise year-on-year.

Meanwhile, in the lead-up to Christmas sales were up 30.5 per cent year-on-year.

The British online retailer said some of its best-selling products over the festive season included Lovehoney’s “Wild Weekend” sex toy set and “Boudoir Belle” lingerie collection, as well as the Fifty Shades of Grey “Greedy Girl” rabbit vibrator.

Lovehoney co-founder Richard Longhurst said the year has been Lovehoney’s biggest year to date.

“Sales growth of more than two thirds in two key territories of America and Australia reflects our focus on international expansion as a key part of our global strategy,” he said.

“After opening our own distribution centres in Australia and the US last year, we now are able to tailor offers and deals to meet local demand, further fuelling our international growth.

“Our aim is to be the world’s best-known sexual wellbeing brand. We now have nine international websites in four languages served from three distribution centres.”

Lovehoney’s international success received royal recognition when it was awarded with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2016.

Securing the exclusive official licence for the Fifty Shades franchise has also helped the retailer gain awareness across a much wider audience.

“We have had some huge successes and great moments in our history but we’re not resting on our laurels,” Longhurst said.

“We are constantly looking to build our own brand products to ensure that we’re not relying on third parties to come up with new products.

“By creating our own products, we can ensure that customers know they’ll always get the best innovation and quality, and at a fair price.”

In June, private equity firm Telemos Capital invested in Lovehoney and acquired a majority stake from Longhurst and co-founder Neal Slateford.

The duo continue to lead day-to-day operations at its headquarters in Bath and Telemos’ executive chairman Philippe Jacobs and chief investment officer Jacob Polny have joined the Lovehoney board.

The retailer said that sales have continued to grow at similar levels to the previous year in the nine months following the end of the 2017/18 financial year.

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