Mulberry has revealed that revenue dropped by 17% to £64.7m for the six months to September 30, while profits nosedived from £7.2m in 2013 to a loss before tax of £1.1m, due to slowing sales, lower gross margin and the cost of new store openings.
The British heritage business said retail sales were down by 9% to £45.1m, while wholesale revenue was down 31% to £19.6m for the period.
However, Mulberry, which announced last week that Johnny Coca will join in July 2015 as its new creative director, said sales for the nine weeks to November 29 were “encouraging” and up 8% on last year or 18% including online sales.
Godfrey Davis, chairman of Mulberry, said: “We have continued to take steps to return the business to growth, and sales for the nine weeks to 29 November are encouraging. We have worked hard to re-engage our customers and our tongue-in-cheek Christmas video #WinChristmas has been viewed well over one million times.
“After a difficult couple of years, the steps that we have taken to return Mulberry to growth are beginning to bear fruit and, looking forward, we expect to gain further momentum from the appointment of Johnny Coca as our new creative director.”
During the half, two directly operated international Mulberry stores opened in Las Vegas and Hamburg. Three more have opened since September 30 in Dallas, Frankfurt and Paris.