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UK Mulberry sales drop mitigated by Asia growth

Strong Asia performances helped mitigate falling UK Mulberry sales in the latest half year.

While the UK fashion house’s total revenue was down 8 per cent to £68.3 million, international sales were up 13 per cent.

Within that figure, new entities in South Korea and Japan saw the company’s retail chain expand to 29 stores, compared with just one a year earlier.

And new digital partnerships in China with Toplife, Secoo and VIP.com also boosted sales. Mulberry says further such reseller agreements are planned.

The core UK business was profitable, but the company was affected by the administration of House of Fraser and “soft retail conditions” in its home market. Overall UK retail sales were down 11 per cent during the six months.

Globally, e-commerce sales rose 5 per cent and now representing 17 per cent of Mulberry sales, up from 14 per cent the same period last year.

The company posted an underlying loss before tax of £3.6 million, compared with a £600,000 loss the previous year.

However, after one-off costs for House of Fraser (£2.1 million) and the South Korea launch (£2.5 million), the company reported a loss pre-tax loss of £8.2 million.  

CEO Thierry Andretta said the company is delivering on a strategy to develop Mulberry as a global luxury brand and the new South Korean and Japan businesses, along with the creation of the China digital partnerships were big steps on that pathway.

“We are confident that our focus on international growth is the correct strategy to develop Mulberry.”

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