Cleaning disruptor My Fabulosa has overcome the post-Covid slump in disinfectant sales by rapidly expanding its fragranced ranges outside of its core category.

Newly filed accounts show core sales fell back in the year to 31 August to £32.5m from £34.7m.

However, total sales including direct to retail (DTR) – which encompasses Fabulosa licensed products such as reed diffusers and candles – were up 9.3%, from £39.2m to £42.8m.

This was driven by DTR revenues more than doubling from £4.5m to £10.3m in the period.

“Our strategy for the last 12 months has been to continue our transition from cleaning company to fragrance company, which has meant we were able to grow outside of our core market with a diverse range of fragrance-led products,” said group marketing director Adam Burnett.

“Anything that can benefit from fragrance, we will deliver and disrupt,” he added, pointing to partnerships in toilet paper, kitchen rolls, bin bags and personal care.

The company would continue driving this category diversification with “other exciting collaborations in the pipeline for 2023, which will really take people by surprise”, Burnett added.

In particular the company has a DTR agreement with discounter B&M, which has been in place for over 12 months and “has shown to add value to the brand”, the accounts stated.

Trading was more stressed in its core cleaning category, given the UK disinfectant market was down 21% in value and 29% in volume for the year to October, the group said. “In isolation, we still see this as an incredibly positive result,” Burnett said.

Pre-tax profits for this business fell from £6.6m to £5.7m as a result of the category decline and investment in its new premises and machinery worth £6m in total last year.

Meanwhile, the group continues to expand its international footprint, having launched this month into more than 2,000 Action stores across The Netherlands, France, Germany and beyond.

The accounts showed core non-UK cleaning sales totalled £510k last year, but global expansion will form a “key element of our 2023 strategy”, Burnett said.