Sexually- adventurous Americans helped to push Britain's SSL International into profit yesterday, buoyed by strong sales of its Pleasuremax condoms and its new Play range of sex lubricants.
SSL said its warming " Play Heat" and its menthol-laced "Play Tingle" were helping drive sales growth, while sales of its iconic sandals fell by five per cent in the year to March 31.
Pretax profit was £21.7 million for the year to March 31, compared with a loss of £5 million the year before.
SSL said it was on track to meet its target of £52 million operating profit by March
2007. Durex sales rose 4.4 per cent to £146 million, and sales of its Scholl footcare range rose 5.3 per cent to £85 million. But footwear was down five per cent to £68 million.
"We can't give up on footwear," said Mr Watts. "In the past it has not had anything like the focus it needs from those folk who drive our business - the country managers around the world, who always saw that their primary job was to sell Durex and footcare products."
In Britain, sales rose 40 per cent to £4 million after SSL introduced a new range and positioned them in retailers such Harrods and Selfridges. "What we now need to do is replicate that, as appropriate around the world," Mr Watts added.
The final dividend was left flat at 4.2p per share.