Ethical cosmetics retailer Lush has reported UK retail sales excluding VAT up 6.8% for the key Christmas trading month of December.

Lush chief executive Andrew Gerrie said: “We’re delighted with our sales increase over Xmas, however we’re conscious of all the cost pressures that exist at the moment.  Despite these challenges ahead we remain optimistic we can grow our business in 2011.” 

Lush co-founders Mark and Mo Constantine were also recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for 2011, and each awarded OBEs for services to the beauty industry.

Lush was set up 15 years ago, and is pioneer of beauty products such as the fizzing bath ballistic and solid shampoo bars.

Lush has 702 shops worldwide in 44 countries.