Mulberry reports online sales up by more than 40%

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Mulberry’s online sales grew by more than 40% in the first half of its financial year, the company said today.

The luxury brand, which makes and sells goods from handbags to fashion, today reported a 6% rise in total revenue to £76.5m in the six months to September 30, from £72.3m last time. Ecommerce revenue, up by 44% to £6.9m, accounted for 9% of total retail sales, which it helped to lift by 13% to £46.5m. But wholesale revenue fell by 4% to £30m, reflecting, said the company “account rationalisation and a more challenging environment”.

A £4.6m rise in operating costs, of which £3.7m was attributed to the expansion of its international store estate, led to a 36% fall in pre-tax profits to £10m, from £15.6m last time.

In the first nine weeks of the second half, to December 1, retail revenues were up by 19% and like-for-like sales by 11%.

The growth comes as Mulberry focuses on an international expansion strategy beyond its existing strengths in the UK, Scandinavia and South Korea. The manufacturer and retailer is set to open 17 to 20 new stores around the world by March 2013, supported by its global ecommerce platform, www.mulberry.com. Two of the new stores will be in China, while stores opened in the first half of the year include sites in Singapore, Western Europe.

Bruno Guillon, chief executive, said: “We continue to focus on creativity, craftsmanship and quality and will place great emphasis on reinforcing Mulberry’s luxury positioning through the quality of our products, retail experience, marketing communications and choice of distribution channels.”

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