Leading UK lingerie and sex toys retail chain Ann Summers revealed today it enjoyed a red hot Valentine's Day thanks to pulsating sales.

Total sales at the company's 54 UK and Irish stores surged 81 per cent in the two weeks leading up to Valentine's Day and by 50 per cent on a same-store basis. Orders placed via the Ann Summers' web site were up 140 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

Delighted chief executive, Jacqueline Gold said: "Valentine's Day is always traditionally one of our best days, but these figures are quite remarkable and just go to show that the British are not shy when it comes to spicing up their sex lives."

She added that the sales surge follows record Christmas trading for the privately-owned store group and that underwear chain Knickerbox, which it bought two years ago, enjoyed a 60 per cent increase in sales in the run-up to February 14.

The company's Ann Summers Party Plan division, which has thousands of women selling its range of racy goods at parties in people's homes, saw its sales rise by 16 per cent.