Mulberry losses widen amid 'challenging' UK market
Losses at luxury handbag maker Mulberry widened in the first half of the year amid challenging conditions in the UK market and increased investment in Asia.
In the 26 weeks to 28 September, pre-tax losses widened to £9.9m from £8.2m in the first half of last year as revenue nudged up just 1% to £68.9m, with UK sales down 4% to £44.7m and international sales 12% higher at £24.2m.
In the UK, which accounts for 65% of group revenue, trading remained "challenging", with subdued demand from domestic customers and an increasingly promotion-led market.
Chief executive officer Thierry Andretta said: "We have made further progress with our strategy through continued investment in a direct to customer, International, Digital and omni-channel model.
"We are seeing the benefit of recent initiatives in Asia which remains a significant growth opportunity. This will support our ambition for International to become a greater proportion of group revenue."
Mulberry said that against an "uncertain backdrop" in the UK and with the important Christmas period ahead, it expects to trade profitably and to generate cash during the second half of the year.
At 1025 GMT, the shares were down 6.6% at 261.55p.