British cosmetics group LUSH seeks salvation in Europe after Britain's vote to leave the EU. Grace Pascoe reports.
The UK's Brexit decision is likely to run more than skin deep. Consumer confidence and sterling have slumped off the back of the referendum. And for handmade cosmetics company LUSH ... Who hire many overseas workers .... These factors are enough for some of them to pack up and go... To another of their factories - in Germany. (SOUNDBITE) (German) DIGITAL MANAGER TANJA HOFMANN, SAYING: "We are quintessentially a British company. But because we are a British company, we are also a European company. We do not think ahead that much (Brexit), we can't really predict anything at the moment. We are just glad that we have this manufacturing location in Duesseldorf and are able to produce here for the European continent." The problem, it says: a sinking pound. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIDELITY WORLDWIDE INVESTMENT, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, TOM STEVENSON, SAYING: "The pound has obviously fallen very significantly since the referendum, LUSH imports a lot of raw materials, so a weakening of sterling is quite a negative for an importer such as LUSH. And I think the final point is that LUSH sells a lot in overseas markets and access to the EU single market is absolutely crucial." (SOUNDBITE) (German) DIGITAL MANAGER TANJA HOFMANN, SAYING: "In some ways, we are worried, because of those uncertainties. But then, we have seven manufacturing locations world-wide and the entire company is spread out, globally. And the manufacturing location in Duesseldorf helps to absorb shock somewhat, so we feel that we are on the safe side." With a new UK prime minister in place Britain will soon begin renegotiating its relationship with the European Union. Hopes are high that the new deal won't leave others wrapping things up before heading for the exit.