The Body Shop has released its latest performance results which reveal the company has endured tough trading conditions, suffering losses during 2010.
According to its annual financial statement, sales for last year were down 2.6 per cent, with the company affected by a poor period for many retail firms.
The company, which has its regional headquarters in Wick, claimed it had contrasting performances around its network of stores, which have expanded to the Far East.
Founded by Sussex entrepreneur Anita Roddick, who died in 2007, the firm enjoyed its financial heyday in the 1990s when it employed more than 2,000.
The company reportedly employs around 800 people across its West Sussex-based and Irish headquarters.
After being sold to major cosmetic company L’Oreal in 2006 for more than £600m, The Body Shop announced 150 UK redundancies in 2009 as part of a re-structuring move.
The company’s financial statement read: “2010 was a year of transition for The Body Shop, which completed its strategic reorganisation.
“The brand is stepping up its militant approach to innovation, with launches including ‘Natrulift’, a firming skincare line with organic pomegranate, Dreams Unlimited, a fragrance with Community Fair Trade Ecuadorean alcohol and also Rainforest, an eco-conscious haircare range.
“Above all, The Body Shop is accelerating its expansion into the New Markets, particularly in Eastern Europe, Asia, and India where the brand has doubled the number of its stores.
“The brand has also extended its distribution into new channels, such as the Internet and Travel Retail, to increase its reach and its visibility.
“Lastly, the actions taken on the operational front continue to deliver: The Body Shop is steadily improving its profitability.”
The Body shop now has a total of 2,605 stores world-wide and has become renowned for it range of social campaigns. Its latest, aims to tackle sex trafficking around the world.
Founded on strong ethical environmental principals, it received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the RSPCA in 2009 for not testing its products on animals.
The company was approached for further comment on its financial performance and plans for its Littlehampton base but declined to respond.