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Mulberry says 12% of group sales now take place online

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Mulberry Group this week reported a 20% rise in digital sales and says online now accounts for 12% of group sales.

The luxury brand, a Top250 company in the IRUK Top500 research, reported revenues of £67.8m in the half-year to September 30, 5% ahead of the same time last year. Pre-tax profits came in at £0.1m, up from a loss of £1.1m last time.

Overall, retail sales, including digital, grew by 12% to £50.4m during the period. Like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, grew by 10% while UK retail sales along were up by 12% – or 14% like-for-like – at £40m. International sales were up by 12% at £10.4m. Digital sales stood at £7.9m, with 77% of sales ordered from the UK, and 46% made via smartphones or tablets.

Mulberry scored a success with last year’s Christmas advert and said that this year’s Christmas video, #MulberryMiracle, had already been viewed more than 1.7m times.

However wholesale sales fell by 11% to £17.4m, as partners in Asia took a “conservative” approach to ordering and Mulberry looked to improve its control over its distribution to independent retailers.

The manufacturer and multichannel retailer will soon unveil its first collection, for Autumn/Winter 2016, under new creative director Johnny Coca.

Chief executive Thierry Andretta said: “Our strategy is beginning to deliver tangible results in line with our expectations. We look forward to Johnny Coca’s first Mulberry collection which will emphasise our Britishness and our heritage in leather, whilst delivering great quality within our targeted price range.

{We remain committed to our UK manufacturing base, which produces about 50% of our handbags. We are excited about the future and look forward to the Mulberry brand fulfilling its potential both in the UK and internationally.”

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