Like-for-like sales down 7.7 per cent
Victory Corporation, the holding company behind The Virgin Cosmetics Company and The Virgin Clothing Company, posted dismal interim results this morning.

The group revealed a retail sales like-for-like sales decline of 7.7 per cent and a pre-tax profit loss of£1.9 million against£1.2 million for the same period last year.

Victory Corporation executive chairman John Jackson said of the six months to 30 September: 'The major changes occurring in the UK consumer sector over the past 12 months encourage the Board to explore other routes to market, particularly in countries where the Virgin brand is already established.'

He added: 'In the meantime I am satisfied that the structure of the business is capable of supporting growth for a number of years ahead.'

The group introduced a range of jewellery in January in response to lower growth in cosmetics sales. The range extension resulted in product sales and turnover growth of 29 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.

The retailer trades in several countries and Jackson has hinted at further international expansion. 'We have been impressed by the level and quality of interest shown in our business by potential overseas partners and believe in due course overseas revenues will make an increasingly important contribution to the growth of our business,' he said.