Mulberry swings to profit as revenues return to pre-Covid levels
Luxury handbag maker Mulberry said on Wednesday that it swung to an interim profit as revenues returned to pre-pandemic levels.
In the 26 weeks to 25 September, the group swung to a pre-tax profit of £10.2m from a loss of £2.4m in the same period a year ago, with revenues up 34% to £65.7m.
UK retail sales grew 36% to £38m, while China sales rose 38% and US sales increased 57%. Mulberry said sales in the UK recovered strongly once stores re-opened. The sales lost from the absence of tourists in the UK and the rationalisation of stores in Europe were replaced by strong growth in Asia, it added.
Digital sales accounted for 29% of group revenue during the period, down on the previous year when stores were shut due to Covid restrictions, but 20% higher than in the first half of 2019.
Chief executive Thierry Andretta said: "I am proud of Mulberry's performance during the period. Our long-term strategy, namely our innovative and sustainable products made in our carbon neutral Somerset factories, our market-leading omni-channel distribution model, and our expansion into Asia Pacific, has delivered a strong financial performance."
As far as current trading is concerned, Mulberry said the underlying sales trends experienced in the first half continued into October and November, with improving store sales, a strong digital performance and continuing growth in Asia.
It noted that the comparative period a year prior was affected by sporadic closures and lockdowns, which make direct comparisons difficult. However, subject to unforeseen events, sales are expected to continue to grow in the second half. Mulberry said retail revenue in the eight weeks to 20 November rose 35% compared to the same period a year ago.
At 0825 GMT, the shares were up 16% at 350p.