The Irish contestant of the hit TV series the Apprentice has announced that her company recorded a revenue of almost €1m.
Dr Leah Totton was a contestant on the British version of the show in 2013 and won a £250,000 investment for her cosmetic surgery company from billionaire businessman Lord Alan Sugar.
The BBC business programme, which is broadcast in Ireland and the UK, has become one of the most popular TV shows of the past decade.
Dr Totton’s business plan was to launch a ‘botox empire’ but also to change the industry, and has often advocated better regulation to improve the standards in the cosmetic industry.
Lord Sugar was initially hesitant to offer her the investment, saying that he felt there could be at risk of costly lawsuits if anything was to ever go wrong.
However, he was impressed with Dr Totton’s professionalism and attention to detail, and his decision to choose her as his apprentice is starting reap rewards.
Dr Totton of Co Derry is one of the show’s most successful ever contestants. She opened a clinic in Central London in 2014 under the business name ‘Dr Leah Ltd’.
The business, which is co-owned with Lord Sugar, recorded a pre-tax loss of £49,684 in its first six months. This was mostly down to start-up costs.
However, in the firms first full 12 month period, its sales jumped from £176,362 to £706,926 (€945,014). This meant that Dr Leah Ltd recorded pre-tax profits of £242,311 (€324,540) in the 12 months to the end of June 2015.
A statement from Dr Totton said: “I am delighted with the performance of Dr Leah Ltd in our first full year of trade, we are a young company but are already trading very profitably and forecasting considerable growth in the coming 12 months.”
The business is well on track to repaying the £250,000 investment to Lord Sugar. Last year it declared a dividend of £150,000 which Dr Totton and Lord Sugar would share in a 50/50 split.
The company employs nine people and will soon add to its workforce as it is set to open a second clinic in Essex in southern England.
Dr Totton also hopes to open a clinic in Ireland at some point in the future. She said: “As always, Ireland remains close to my heart and a key area of interest for Dr Leah Clinics & Skincare.”