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Lush Australia report total retail sales increase

Sydney, 28th January 2014. Lush Australia is very pleased to report that total Retail Sales in our 29 stores were 33% up on the same period last year and online sales an extremely impressive 78% LFL.   Combined sales were 35% up on a LFL like–for-like basis. 

With 910 stores in 50 countries, we are delighted with an overall increase in our global sales of +17.6% for the same 5 week period (+11.4% LFL) with global highlights being North America (+21% LFL) and Australia (+35% LFL).

Such successful results could not have been achieved without the enthusiasm and commitment of Lush employees and we wish to publically acknowledge their efforts and dedication to the brand. Lush would also like to express thanks to our loyal customers, both existing fans as well as those who shopped with us for the first time over the festive period.

A)   Christmas Trading for the period ended 31 December 2013

Lush Australia is very pleased to report that total Retail Sales in our 29 stores were 33% up on the same period last year and online sales an extremely impressive 78% LFL.   Combined sales were 35% up on a LFL like–for-like basis. 

With 910 stores in 50 countries, we are delighted with an overall increase in our global sales of +17.6% for the same 5 week period (+11.4% LFL) with global highlights being North America (+21% LFL) and Australia (+35% LFL).

Such successful results could not have been achieved without the enthusiasm and commitment of Lush employees and we wish to publically acknowledge their efforts and dedication to the brand. Lush would also like to express thanks to our loyal customers, both existing fans as well as those who shopped with us for the first time over the festive period.

B) Charity donations

This calendar year, Lush Australia is proud to report it has donated $82,534 to charities working in areas of animal rights, human rights and environmental conservation. Lush staged a variety of in-store and online ethical campaigns on issues important to us, our staff and many of our customers, such as marriage equality, asylum seekers, illegal whaling and fighting animal testing in cosmetics. As well as raising awareness on these issues through its retail stores, online and social media platforms, Lush also generated funds for local grass roots organisations to continue their campaigning efforts through selling limited edition campaign products with funds donated to individual charities.

C) Christmas messaging

From October to December 2013, Lush’s national Christmas campaign was ‘Choose a Cruelty Free Christmas’, showcasing and celebrating the brand’s ethics including its sustainable buying practices, anti-packaging initiatives, no animal testing policy, active campaigning and environmental leadership. With such successful Christmas trading results, it has proven that our way of business resonates with the public and our customers who are looking for ethical leadership from the array of brand choices they have. This messaging and activity has resulted in higher engagement levels from both staff and customers.

D) Customer engagement

This financial year, Lush has placed a strong emphasis on improving ‘the customer experience’ both in its stores and online. Various programs have been implemented to increase brand engagement including the development of a new customer care department, customer-focused training tours, lifestyle-driven social media content and targeted online communications. The brand has seen a transaction increase of 40% compared to the previous year.

E) Growing concerns

Despite these positive results we share the concerns of Australian retailers of the ever increasing cost of doing business across the Australian market – specifically increased rent demands from our landlords.

F) Audited Financial Statements Filed for y/e 30 June 2013

We are also pleased to be filing strong consolidated financial results for Lush Cosmetics Limited’s year ending 30 June 13 showing global group turnover of £362.9m; up 11.3% compared to last year, thanks to the increased number of stores (a net increase of 78) and positive like for like growth across all markets of +3.7%.

In our 3 main markets, the US achieved double digit LFL growth for the 4th consecutive year with sales up +14.1%, the UK was up +5%, however Japan saw a decline of -1.7%.

Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 13 of £21.9m was £4.3m (16.2%) lower than last year following a significant increase in charitable donations and our investment in "Lushfest", an international festival style event for our staff to support global training and communications. For the 3 main markets, improved results in North America and the UK were partially offset by Japan, where costs were incurred to restructure the business, which has become 100% Lush Ltd owned since the year end.

The reduction in the proportion of our profit made in Japan (a particularly high tax territory) coupled with a fall in the UK corporate tax rate have resulted in our effective tax rate for the year reducing from 46.5% to 37.6%.

Global charitable donations for the year increased by almost 50% with Lush partners worldwide donating a total of £3.1m (£2.1m last year) to charities and other good causes with our focus for charitable giving remaining on innovative, effective giving through our support of small, grassroots organisations working in the areas of environment, human rights and animal protection.

Kim Coles, UK LUSH Finance Director, comments:

“These healthy results are based on an ever-improving and innovative product range and great staff with bags of enthusiasm. Customers are increasingly appreciating our values and the value of high quality products made with the freshest possible natural ingredients. It is great to be able to report such encouraging Christmas sales in the same week as filing our strong year end 30 June 2013 results and we remain optimistic about the future as we continue to grow the business globally with expansion plans including our first New York spa opening on 8th January, our first Brazil shop opening in the next few months and a new UK website in March”.

About Lush

Since its establishment 19 years ago, Lush Cosmetics has been driven by innovation and its ethics. Creators of pioneering beauty products such as the bath bomb, shower jellies and solid shampoo bars, Lush places emphasis on fresh ingredients like organic fruits and vegetables. Lush operates a strict policy against animal testing and supports fair trade and community trade initiatives. Lush leads the cosmetics industry in combating over-packaging by running public awareness campaigns and developing products that can be sold ‘naked’ to the consumer without any packaging. There are 910 Lush shops in 50 countries worldwide. In Australia, we employ over 300 people from sales staff in store and online who serve our customers to the teams hand-making our products in the Sydney-based factory. There are 26 Lush stores across the country, including our website LUSH.COM.AU. In 2013, Lush received the Australian Business Award for Environmental Sustainability, recognising leadership and commitment to the enhancement, preservation and protection of the environment through policies and initiatives.

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

PO Box 83, Canterbury NSW 2193
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www.lush.com.au | www.lushnz.com

Registered Office:  1B Charles St, Canterbury NSW 2193