Mulberry made a loss before tax of £8.2m for the six months to 30 September 2018, up from a loss of £600,0000 for the same period in 2017, following House of Fraser’s fall into administration and costs associated with launching into Korea.
The business made an underlying loss before tax of £3.6m, excluding one-off costs comprising £2.1m owed by HoF and £2.5m for launching into Korea.
Mulberry’s UK sales fell 11% year on year following HoF’s collapse and “soft retail conditions”.
Total revenue at the business was down 8% to £68.3m. International retail sales were up 13%.
Global online sales increased 5% and now represent 17% of sales, up from 14% last year.
The business had net cash of £12.1m at the end of the period.
During the period, Mulberry opened 28 stores in Asia and launched new digital partnerships in China with Toplife, Secoo and VIP.com.
Mulberry opened a UK flagship store on London’s Regent Street, featuring a new design concept.
In current trading, UK retail like-for-like sales are down 7% for the six weeks to 3 November.
Thierry Andretta, CEO, said: “We are delivering on the strategy to develop Mulberry as a global luxury brand with new subsidiaries in Korea and Japan, the creation of digital partnerships in China and the additions to our own store network in Asia.
”In the UK, our most important market, we are pleased to have signed a concession agreement with John Lewis & Partners, advancing our direct to consumer reach. We are proud to be the largest manufacturer of luxury leather goods in the UK and remain committed to supporting “Made in England” through our two Somerset factories.
”We are confident that our focus on international growth is the correct strategy to develop Mulberry. We are well positioned for the Christmas trading period, which as ever, will determine our full year result.”