The ugly spot of a profit drop blemished eco-friendly beauty retailer Body Shop's interim results last week.
Supply chain problems and troubled international markets contributed to a£5 million drop in first-half pre-tax profits to£2.5 million. The decline had been expected by investors.
However, chief executive Peter Saunders said that trading in the UK has improved. As the Christmas season approaches, Saunders said he is confident that full-year results will be an improvement on last year.
'For the first five weeks since the period end, comparable sales were up 3 per cent, reflecting much better trading in the UK,' he said.
The store group's worldwide retail sales were up 3 per cent during the period to£310.6 million, but like-for-likes were down 1 per cent.
Body Shop has 1,983 stores, of which 569 are company-owned.