Ann Summers posted flat full-year profits and a rise in like-for-like sales as the retailer prepares to expand its wholesale operation internationally.

Ann summers

Ann summers

Ann Summers

The sex toy and lingerie retailer’s pre-tax profits held steady at £1m in the year to June 25, 2016, while turnover declined 3% year-on-year to £101.5m and like-for-likes rose 0.6%.

The specialist retailer “focused on continuing to build foundations for growth” during the period and ploughed investment into migrating its ecommerce platform and bolstering its wholesale partnerships with retailers including Shop Direct, House of Fraser and Asos, which posted a 44% sales rise.

The retailer plans to build on this momentum by launching “into new international markets” through several wholesale partnerships this year.

The retailer’s online channel recorded a 6% increase in sales during the period.

Ann Summers closed a net five stores during the period, taking its overall store estate to 130, and rolled out its ongoing store refurbishment programme.

The retailer also diversified its bricks-and-mortar portfolio with its first outlet store in Braintree.

‘Strong end’

Chief executive Jacqueline Gold said: “As the retail industry continues to face challenges, I’m delighted that Ann Summers is continuing to flourish and prove that having a unique proposition, and listening to customers’ needs, will deliver positive results.

“We had a strong end to our last financial year, and I am encouraged by the performance of the current financial year so far, which has been enhanced by many exciting partnerships and innovations, with our wholesale expansion proving particularly successful.”

The sex toy retailer plans to refit its two London flagship stores by early autumn and complete the refit of its wider store estate over the next three years.

Ann Summers is also investing in overhauling its core operating systems over the next 12 months in order to “further improve our customers’ shopping experience”.