The Fragrance Shop delivered a record performance for the year to March 31, posting a 24% surge in EBITDA to £9.3m as it unveiled plans to open 100 stores over the next five years.
Sales at the beauty retailer surged 23% to £70.4m, while like-for-like sales increased 9%.
The 135-store retailer said sales were fuelled by the popularity of luxury and celebrity-branded ranges combined with an increase across male fragrance sales.
The Fragrance Shop chief executive Sanjay Vadera said: “Given the generally challenging climate across retail due to weak consumer confidence, this is a strong performance by the business which highlights the sector’s resilience to recession and the success of our model.”
The retailer said there had been a sharp rise in sales among younger customers in the 16-24 age group pushed by celebrity branded fragrances such as from Justin Bieber and those from television show The Only Way is Essex.
Sales across men’s fragrances increased at their fastest ever rate, accounting for 40% of sales. New product launches and continued growth in existing brands has led the charge.
The Fragrance Shop is expecting the new financial year to be even better, and is already seeing strong product launches as it plans to open 100 new stores over the next five years in “prime retail destinations”
Vadera added: “With a strong financial position as a debt-free, cash generative business, we have the perfect opportunity to expand our UK presence over the next five years and consolidate our position as the leading authority on fragrance.”
According to Mintel the perfume market generated £1.4bn in UK sales in 2011, with analysts predicting growth of 45% over the next five years. The report also said the UK was the world’s fastest-growing market.
The Fragrance Shop managing director Nigel Lawmon said: “The fragrance market has been gathering enormous momentum over the last two years, with the UK now the world’s fastest growing market and catching-up with its continental neighbours such as France.
“Key customer groups, such as young adults and men, are coming to the category in unprecedented numbers, driven by the explosive growth of celebrity brands and the expansion of the wider male grooming and beauty market.”