Mulberry looks beyond Britain as demand slows
Luxury handbag maker Mulberry has revealed widening half-year losses but said international demand and tourist spend is helping offset a slowing UK market.
The group posted pre-tax losses of £609,000 for the six months to September 30 against £515,000 a year earlier after like-for-like sales fell 1pc. CEO Thierry Andretta said the UK market remains "uncertain", with domestic sales falling 1pc despite a boost from overseas shoppers taking advantage of the Brexit-hit pound, while overseas sales dropped 3pc.
But the group has returned to sales growth since the half-year, with a 12pc surge in international sales helping overall sales lift 1pc in the 10 weeks to December 2.
"We continue to see strong demand from tourists in London and whilst the UK remains uncertain, the group remains in a strong position to invest in further developing the customer experience in key international markets and enhancing its unique UK design and manufacturing base," said Mr Andretta.
It is focusing efforts on expanding overseas, particularly Asia. Mulberry said interim losses widened partly as a result of £800,000 pumped into marketing, while it also traditionally makes the bulk of its profits in the second half of its financial year.