Taste for luxury goods helps Mulberry push up profits

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LUXURY handbag maker Mulberry said half-year profits more than trebled, and it remains “cautiously optimistic” despite the tough retail climate.

The group posted pre-tax profits of £15.6m during the six months to the end of September, up from £4.7m a year earlier, as total revenues rose 62 per cent to £72.3m.

Mulberry said like-for-like retail sales increased 44 per cent during the period, and it opened stores and expanded its factory.

The group said since September, like-for-like sales have increased 14 per cent, against strong comparatives a year earlier.

“The first half of this year has seen us deliver another strong set of results,” said chairman and chief executive Godfrey Davis.

“Our strategy to focus on international expansion continues to bear fruit. Against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, Mulberry continues to build market share internationally.” Mulberry, which has 86 stores and concessions worldwide, including 44 in the UK, opened a flagship store in New York during the period, plus five stores in the Asia/Pacific region.

The group also expanded its factory in Somerset, adding 60 new jobs.

Altium Securities analyst John Cummins said Mulberry is “only just scratching the surface” in many luxury goods markets outside the UK and is under-represented globally.