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Mulberry profits soar 231%

Profits at Mulberry, the luxury brand and retailer, more than trebled over the last six months boosted by strong growth overseas.

For the six months to September 30 pre-tax profit rose 231% from £4.7m in the same period of 2010 to £15.6m. Total revenues increased by 62% from £44.7m to £72.3m.

International revenues jumped 115% to £29.4m from £13.7m in the comparative period last year. During the period Mulberry opened a flagship store in New York’s Soho and its partners opened five stores in the Asia-Pacific region.

Godfrey Davis, chairman and chief executive, said Mulberry’s strategy to focus on international expansion “continues to bear fruit”. He added: “Against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, Mulberry continues to build market share internationally and we remain cautiously optimistic about the future prospects of the business.”

Group retail sales rose by 47% with like-for-like sales up by 44%, the UK retail market echoed the 44% rise.

Wholesale figures were up 93% to £31.3m boosted by the seasonal timetable of shipments being bought forward by a month to satisfy international business and increased production capacity. Mulberry’s core business continued to bring in the sales with women’s and men’s bags accounting for 77% of group sales.

Sales through www.mulberry.com grew by 52% during the period to £4.8 million, representing 7% of total sales. Mulberry will launch a new online platform by the end of the next financial year.

Despite tough economic conditions Mulberry said its current trading was experiencing growth. Retail sales are up 18% for the 10 weeks to December 3 with like-for-like sales up 14% against strong comparables.

Orders for spring 12 are up 29% compared to spring 11 end of season total with still three months left of the selling season.

Davis however warned that despite the outlook for the six months to March 31 being positive the potential impact of the economic environment on consumers spending habits makes the future more challenging.

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