Leading lingerie and sex toys retail chain Ann Summers on Tuesday announced a 28 per cent year-on-year jump in annual sales and said it expects to record a net profit of around £9.5 million.

The operator of 62 stores and owner of the Knickerbox lingerie chain said turnover rose to £85m in the year to June 30, with internet sales up 71 per cent.

Chief executive, Jacqueline Gold, said: "2000/2001 has been one of our best years ever and is proof that the British people just can't get enough sex.

"There is not just one reason (for the increase). First is the overall increasing brand recognition, we are to a degree being driven by our own success. But it is also changing attitudes - people are more relaxed about spicing up their sex lives."

She added she believes there is scope to expand the chain to between 100 and 150 stores in the UK alone. Ann Summers will open its first store in Spain in the next couple of months.