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Mulberry’s sales bounce back

Luxury fashion business Mulberry has seen an uplift in sales in the run-up to Christmas, after posting a profit warning last week.

Mulberry warned that its full-year results would fall short of last year and below market expectations, as like-for-like sales fell 12% for the 10 weeks to December 6. Mulberry blamed a slowdown in consumer demand for the decline.

But chairman and chief executive Godfrey Davis said: “[This downturn] is a worldwide phenomenon and I think our performance is relatively good. Normal Christmas patterns have returned and we’re [now] only slightly below last year on like-for-like sales. We’re expecting some momentum internationally next year and our order books for spring 09 are up 15% on last year.”

He admitted that 2009 would be tough but said he was optimistic about the long-term future. “We feel this is a period of opportunity. We have a strong heritage and attractive fashion offer, a strong balance sheet and no borrowings,” he said. “But the exchange rate fluctuations mean that we’ll have to change our prices.”

Pre-tax profits at Mulberry rose 6% to £1.33 million for the six months to September 30, while total sales soared 29% to £27.8m during the period.

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