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Mulberry unveils fast growth in digital sales, and plans international digital expansion

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Mulberry [iruk rmul] this week unveiled fast growth in both digital sales and pre-tax profits after what it described as "significant investment" in new product design, new creative talent and omnichannel systems.

The luxury handbags to shoes manufacturer and retailer, a Top350 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, now plans to build on its omnichannel position in the UK and expand overseas through a clicks-and-bricks strategy, where digital will support "well-situated stores". In coming years it says it will add local fulfilment and omnichannel services in its priority international markets. About 50% of group digital sales are through mobile phones and tablets, with two-thirds of traffic through these devices.

The update came as Mulberry reported revenue of £155.9m in the year to March 31, a rise of 5% compared to the previous year. Retail sales came in at £118.7m, 8% upon last time. Some 14% of retail sales, worth £21.4m, were made online after digital sales grew by 19%. UK sales, including digital, grew by 9% to £97.4m, while international sales, also including digital, were up by 3% at £21.3m. Pre-tax profits came in at £6.2m, up from £1.9m last time.

Chief executive Thierry Andretta said the company had made "significant progress" during the year, with a strong reception for the first collection from its new creative director Jonny Coca. About half of its bags are made in its UK factories, which he said was "a core strength and point of distinction".

"We have built a strong foundation for future growth as a result of the investment made in product design and development as well as our omnichannel infrastructure," he said. "Looking forward, we will invest further in developing exciting new prouduct whilst continuing to engage with our core UK and growing international customer base."

Mulberry sells through 67 directly operated shop and during the year opened a flagship store in Paris. A network of franchise stores has 55 outlets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

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