A sex toy retailer has thanked Queen Elizabeth for helping them boost profits.

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Lovehoney - which is owned by Richard Longhurst and Neal Slateford - was awarded The Queen's Award for Enterprise last year for boosting UK exports, and they have since revealed a pre-tax profits rise of 76 per cent, which they partly put down to the 91-year-old monarch.

Neal told the Bath Chronicle newspaper: "We would like to thank the queen for recognising our achievements - that royal recognition has really helped us to grow the brand overseas.

"Our online-only model gives us significant advantages over more traditional rivals and will allow us to keep prices and costs low in what is a tough period for all retailers.

"We feel the pleasure product category has been fully embraced by mainstream consumers in the last five years and whole new generation of couples are making adult toys a regular part of their sexual routine."

Lovehoney have penned deals with 'Fifty Shades of Grey' author E L James, and rock groups Motörhead and Mötley Crüe, for various ranges, as well as one with TV show 'Broad City' - the only sex toy retailer in the world to develop such branded licensing deals.

Neal added: "That sea change in attitudes is reflected in our Queen's Award and the success of branded lines with some of the world's biggest rocks bands, 'Fifty Shades' and a TV show in Broad City which really speaks to Millennials."

The company's pre-tax profits have increased from £5.1 million to £9 million for 2016-17, and sales were up 31 per cent from £58 million to £76 million.

Neal and Richard met the queen and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace last year to collect their accolade.