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Mulberry's first half exceeded expectations

Mulberry, the luxury clothing and accessories house, has said sales were stronger than expected in the 10 weeks to October 2, with like-for-like sales in its full price stores up 79%.

In the period, its UK shops reported sales up 57% compared to the same period last year. Its off-price sales were unchanged, reflecting a shortage of merchandise.

The retailer said margins have increased compared to the previous year, with a higher proportion of sales being made at full retail price. Additionally, due to the higher sales at full retail price, there were low end of season stocks for the summer sale and so mark downs were reduced.

It said its wholesale order intake for the autumn 2010 season has improved further and is expected to increase by approximately 100% compared to the Autumn 2009 season. It said a similar pattern is developing for the spring 2011 season.

Mulberry said as a result of the strong performance during the first half and its positive outlook, sales and profit for the year ending March 31 is expected to “significantly exceed market expectations”.

However, it said on a cautionary note, results for the second half will be sensitive to levels of trading during the important Christmas period and the reaction of customers in the UK to the VAT increase in January.

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