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Mulberry bucks consumer slowdown

Luxury brand Mulberry recorded retail like-for-like sales up 9% for the nine weeks to December 1 - well above trading performance of middle-market players on the high street.

However Mulberry said its retail like-for-likes were up 11% for the 26 weeks to September, indicating there has been a slight downturn in trading in the luxury sector.

Sales for the 26 weeks period were ahead 4% to £21.5 million but operating profit fell back from £2.5m to £1.1m because of investment to help the brand build a global presence.

Mulberry's order books for spring 08 are ahead 6% on the previous year and it said it would open eight shops and four department store concessions within the next six months.

Mulberry chairman and chief executive Godfrey Davis said: "We continue to take the various steps needed to develop Mulberry as a global luxury brand. Our programme of reinvesting in the business is already benefiting the company and consumer awareness in Asia and the USA is growing. The group continues to make steady progress while the foundations for international growth in the medium term are laid."

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