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Mulberry interim profits soar

Luxury brand and retailer Mulberry has posted a 207% surge in first-half pre-tax profits to £4.7m on sales up 38% and full year earnings are expected to beat market expectations.

Like-for-like retail sales were up 29% in the six months to September 30, when turnover was £44.7m.

Autumn 2010 orders were up 100% year on year year and wholesale shipments ahead 76%. In its UK full price stores and department store concessions Mulberry generated a like-for-like sales increase of 66% in the 10 weeks to December 4.

Mulberry this week opened a new flagship store on New Bond Street in London and there were shop openings in Manchester, Sydney and Amsterdam during the reporting period.

Sales through the Mulberry website arose 32%. The company’s gross profit margins increased by 63.9% because of a higher proportion of sales made at full retail price and much reduced summer Sale stock.  

Mulberry chairman and chief executive Godfrey Davis said: “Mulberry has continued to increase sales and profitability during the first half of the year due to consistent demand for our products in all markets.

“Since September, the pattern of strong demand has continued and the outlook for the second half of the year is very positive, with full year performance likely to exceed market expectations. Despite the positive outlook we remain cautious about the global economic environment.”

Looking ahead to the next season Mulberry said its spring 11 had started ”extremely strongly” and its third-party wholesale order book is already 91% higher than the Spring 10 closing position with our months selling yet to go.

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