The Body Shop has lifted profits by a third to £45.6m in the year to January 1, according to documents filed at Companies House.

Sales were up 3.6% to £332m.

The ethical cosmetics retailer told the Mail on Sunday: “During the year, the company proved resilient in a severely affected retail market and there was solid growth across Asia and the Middle East.

“We continue to be confronted by challenges in some markets as a direct result of the global economic downturn.”

But Body Shop said that growth would continue this year, aided by new product launches.