Could the cosmetics retailer become the Avon of the new millennium?
Global sales at Body Shop International rose over Christmas, with an attempt to revive the brand under way. In the 10 weeks to January 1, total retail sales increased 6 per cent, with comparable store sales up 3 per cent. Year-to-date total sales increased 5 per cent.

Trading in the Americas was depressed, with comparable store sales down 1 per cent for the period, but flat for the year to date. Comparable store sales at the retailer's Asian business grew 7 per cent during the period. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, sales were also buoyant - up 4 per cent on comparable store sales over Christmas and 1 per cent for the year to date. The UK and Ireland fared less well, with comparable stores up 5 per cent during the period, but down 1 per cent on year-to-date sales.

The retailer's biggest success story this Christmas was retail sales through its party business Body Shop at Home, which grew 28 per cent, and by 34 per cent for the year to date.

Body Shop International chief executive Peter Saunders said: 'Our repositioning of the brand continues to progress and we expect to deliver another year of good performance marginally ahead of market expectations.'