Lingerie firm reveals growing sales

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Lingerie firm Agent Provocateur has thrived despite the recession and is to up the pace of its international expansion, according to press reports

Lingerie firm Agent Provocateur has thrived despite the recession and is to up the pace of its international expansion, according to press reports.

The upmarket label, known for its saucy image, will this week report that sales increased 12% to £24.7 million in the year to March, while underlying profits soared 45% to £1.2 million, said the Sunday Times.

Chief executive Garry Hogarth told the newspaper: “Current trading is strong. The company is in a good place. I am confident for the future.”

The retailer, which also sells swimwear, footwear and other accessories, benefited from its network of overseas stores which had reduced its exposure to the recession in the UK, he added.

The US is due to overtake Britain as the firm’s biggest market this year as the label prepares to open flagship stores in New York and Beverly Hills next month.

Other international plans include expanding its presence in Russia and moving into Japan for the first time.

Future growth will also come from expanding its range of products to include sunglasses, cosmetics and bedding and growing online sales.

Agent Provocateur, which has 51 stores globally, was set up by Joe Corre and his then wife Serena Rees in 1994. They sold a majority stake to private equity firm 3i in 2007.

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