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Mulberry profit expectations improve despite fall in sales

Mulberry has said its profit before exceptional items will be “slightly ahead” of market expectations for the year to March 31, despite a 9.2% fall in sales to £148m.

The luxury handbag brand said tighter cost control and improvements in its retail sales, which returned to growth in the second half, have offset previously announced problems in the wholesale division.

Retail trading improved following the introduction of Mulberry’s spring 15 collection at the beginning of November.

In a trading update today, Mulberry said total retail sales are expected to be up 1% for the full year, while like-for-likes will be down 2%. Online retail sales will be up 15%.

The group expects to report an exceptional non-cash impairment charge of between £2.5m and £3m relating to the opening of five new stores.

Chairman Godfrey Davis said: “The encouraging retail trends over the last five months reflect our reinvigorated product offer and focus upon our customers.”

During the year, Mulberry announced the appointment of new chief executive Thierry Andretta, who joined from Italian luxury jewellery brand Buccellati on April 7, and new creative director Johnny Coca, who will join from Céline in July.

The preliminary results for the year ended March 31 will be announced on June 11.

@KirstyMcGregor

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