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Mulberry grows sales abroad and online

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Mulberry grew sales online and overseas in its latest financial year, helping to make itself less dependant on UK sales, the luxury leather goods company said this week.

Ecommerce sales at the company rose by 58% to £14.5m in the 12 months to March 31. Nine per cent of Mulberry’s total sales were made online during the year, up from 8% last year.

The update came as Mulberry this week unveiled its full-year results, with total sales for the year up by 38% to £168.5m, from £121.6m last time. Pre-tax profits rose by 54% to £36m, from £23.3m last time.

During the year the company also continued to expand its sales overseas, with international revenues rising by 61% to £65.2m, from £40.5m at the same time last year. Overseas sales now account for 39% of group revenues, up from 33% at the same time last year. Fourteen new stores opened in locations including the Netherlands, US, Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan as well as the UK. Some 16 stores will be opened overseas in the current financial year.

“As a result of sustained investment over a number of years, we have been successful in developing international demand for the Mulberry brand,” said chairman Godfrey Davis. “This investment in people, product design, marketing and new store openings is the driving force behind the growing international success of our business which continues to become less dependent upon customers in the UK or any other single market.”

Mulberry also extended its UK factory, increasing production in this country by 30% and creating 60 jobs. It now plans to build a second factory in Somerset that will double its capacity and create 300 more jobs.

Chairman Godfrey Davis said Mulberry had performed well against expectations. “While the current economic conditions make the short-term trading outlook more challenging in some markets, we remain confident about Mulberry’s long-term future.

“We continue to focus on developing our business internationally, opening new stores and building the foundations for long-term growth. The investment in a second factory in the UK will reinforce the group’s position as the largest UK manufacturer of luxury leather goods.”

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