The Body Shop has recorded a sales fall in its first quarter which has been blamed on “difficult” trading in the UK and Asia.

The ethical beauty retailer recorded a 3% slip in like-for-like sales in the quarter to March 31. Total sales fell 3.4% from €181.9m (£150.1m) last year to €176.4m (£145.6m) this year.

L’Oreal, the Body Shop’s parent company, said the retailer’s business in North America, Eastern Europe and the Nordic countries had made a “good start”.

The Body Shop, which has 3,031 stores, said it has grown its facial skincare category due to the success of its Serum-in-Oil and Vitamin E product launches.