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Profit alert for make-up firm backed by Love Island star Olivia Buckland

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The owner of make-up brand W7 Cosmetics – which is promoted by Love Island star Olivia Buckland – has warned of a hit to profits after tough trading in the UK.

Shares in Warpaint London fell 37% after it said retailers had been reducing stock levels and Christmas orders after a further weakening in the market following on from a “challenging” period earlier in the year.

It now expects pre-tax profits – stripping out one-off items – of between £8.5m and £10m for the year, short of analysts’ expectations of more than £12m.

Joint chief executives Sam Bazini and Eoin Macleod said: “Whilst the current UK market conditions are challenging we are seeing strong growth in our overseas sales.

“We remain well positioned to take advantage of any improvement in UK market conditions and will continue our strategy of growing and diversifying our international sales.”

Warpaint’s flagship brand W7, launched in 2002, is aimed at customers aged 16 to 30 seeking “high-quality cosmetics at affordable prices” and is now available in more than 50 countries.

In February, W7 announced Olivia Buckland as its new face for 2018.

Last year, Warpaint bought Retra Holdings, which sells in UK high street stores such as Boots, Superdrug and Asda and includes the brands Technic, Body Collection and Man’s Stuff.

The company said in September that trading conditions in the first half of the year were “challenging”, blamed on “the UK high street slow down and ongoing Brexit anxiety”.

Warpaint said in a trading update on Monday: “The UK market, which accounted for 44% of Group sales in the first half of the year, has seen further softening recently, with retailers reducing stock levels and Christmas orders.

“This reduction in previously anticipated UK sales will have an impact on Group performance for the full year that will not be completely offset by better than anticipated performance in our major overseas sales territories.”

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