News Column

Women's Erotica Pulls in Big Money

July 29, 2013
beate uhse
Beate Uhse sex shop storefront (Creative Commons)

Erotica for women has emerged as a major new money spinner for the European porn industry, with German sex products group Beate Uhse AG unveiling plans Monday to draw in more female customers.

"The market has undergone a complete change in recent years," Beate Uhse board member Erwin Cok told the group's annual shareholders' meeting in Flensburg on the German border with Denmark.

In addition to announcing plans to revamp its catalogue along the lines of a woman's magazine, the company unveiled a new red-pink logo consisting of swirls and hearts.

The moves follow the launch of the group's new slogan: Sex up your life.

"We have talked for months with a lot of women," said company spokeswoman Doreen Schink. They want "to be addressed in a loving, tongue-in-cheek way."

More than 80 per cent of the group's products are already developed for women, who represent about 60 per cent of its customers.

After being badly hit in recent years by the internet sex boom, the company now expects to post earnings this year of between 2 to 4 million euros (2.7-5.3 million dollars).

This comes after it bounced back into the black last year with a profit of 1.4 million euros, following a loss of 5.2 million euros in 2011.

After launching what it claims to be the world's first sex shop six decades ago in Flensburg, Beate Uhse now has operations in 15 European countries.

The group also became Europe's first so-called erotic stock when it was listed on the German share market in 1999. But since then the company's investors have been on something of a roller coaster ride.

After a strong start following the stock market listing, the shares fell sharply as the company struggled to compete with the growing internet sex business.

"In recent years, the Beate Uhse brand appeared out of date," Cok told the about 220 stockholders attending the meeting.

"The value of the brand had declined. It was not attractive to younger and female target groups," he said.

More recently, however, a pick up in the group's earnings has meant that the shares have been gaining ground again to trade at about 77 cents, after at times in recent years slumping to about 7 cents.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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