Ethical cosmetics specialist Lush suffered a slide in earnings last year but profitability has improved since.

The retailer, which has 689 shops in 43 countries, reported that pre-tax profits fell from £19.4m to £13.9m in the year to June 30 2009, when turnover rose by 40% to £215m.

However in the first eight months of the current year, covering the period to February 28, profits are ahead year on year and turnover is up by 10%.

Lush chief executive Andrew Gerrie said: “Businesses are maintaining a cautious watch on the worldwide economy. Lush is no different.

“Even so, we are optimistic as there are plenty of opportunities for us to keep growing. We have made a number of internal improvements and continue to strive for more.

“Across the world we now have the strongest management team we have ever had and so far this team is delivering our best year ever.”