Snail face cream helps Holland and Barrett earnings hike

Snail face cream helps Holland and Barrett earnings hike

Modern health and beauty phenomena like coconut oil and snail gel face cream helped Holland & Barrett grow annual earnings with its seventh straight year of rising sales.

The Nuneaton-based health food chain grew like-for-like sales in the UK by 10.4% and by 7% across its worldwide operations in the 12 months to the end of last September.

Since then, it has achieved its 28th quarter in a row of comparable store sales growth.

H&B said best-sellers in the year included a range of coconut products, including coconut flour, jam and sugar.

Snail gel cream, which boasts a range of anti-aging and antioxidant benefits, was another top seller, alongside manuka honey, popular for its anti-bacterial and medicinal uses.

H&B said so-called ancient grains also made a comeback, with amaranth, teff and freekeh becoming the "new quinoa".

The business posted a 12.2% rise in underlying earnings to £146 million for the past financial year.

It invested £50m in the business over the last financial year, opening another 55 locations worldwide and rolling out new technology to help boost online trade.

As part of expansion aims, it is also investing in new warehousing in Dublin to help increase business in Ireland, as well as new overseas markets such as Scandinavia, while it is doubling the size of its head office in Nuneaton.

Christian Keen, chief financial officer for Holland & Barrett International, said: "We have set ourselves a challenging target to become a £1 billion business by 2020, drawing on plans for further international growth and our ability to leverage our position as part of the NBTY Group."


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