Smellies retailer looking good
The Body Shop has revealed comparable store sales up 5 per cent in the first quarter, showing that although US trading was weak, sales in the UK, Europe and Asia Pacific regions were brisk.

Total retail sales for the toiletries and fragrances retailer during the period to May 28 rose 8 per cent. The Body Shop expanded its portfolio by a further 17 stores to reach 2,062 across the four regions, indicating its apparent strength against continuing consumer anxiety in Europe and the US.

However, the retailer acknowledged that operating profit will fall by about 25 per cent in the first half of the financial year, against a seasonally stronger second half.

The Body Shop chief executive Peter Saunders said: 'The acquisition of Benelux [franchises] will increase this first-half decline somewhat, due to the timing of initial integration costs.'

Full-year forecasts by the retailer estimated operating profit growth will be 15 per cent to 20 per cent.