Business

Mulberry luxury goods maker sees profit treble

Model Cara Delevingne poses with a Mulberry handbag Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cara Delevingne models her Mulberry range

Luxury goods company Mulberry sees profits treble following switch to focus on more affordable products.

The company, best known for its leather handbags, saw annual pre-tax profits in the year to 31 March jump from £1.9m to £6.2m. Sales rose by 5% to £155.9m.

Mulberry has struggled in recent years as a result of the company's failed attempt to compete with higher end brands, such as Prada and Fendi.

Chief executive Thierry Andretta said it had made "significant progress".

Mulberry has spent the past two years introducing new designs and bringing in lower priced bags in the £500 to £800 range.

This followed ill-fated efforts to compete at the top end of the market offering bags priced at £1,000 and more. The move upmarket was described by analysts as "misguided".

Further investment

However, the shake-up in strategy appears to be working.

Mr Andretta said: "We have built a strong foundation for future growth as a result of the investment made in product design and development as well as our omni-channel infrastructure.

Like-for-like sales rose by 8% over the year, but digital sales rose by nearly a fifth - 19%.

"Looking forward, we will invest further in developing exciting new product, whilst continuing to engage with our core UK and growing international customer base," said Mr Andretta.

"The first collection introduced by our new Creative Director, Johnny Coca, has been well received by both the UK and international press and partners," he added.

Mr Coca joined Mulberry a year ago and his first collection for the brand was presented at London Fashion Week in February.

Today's figures cover the first full year with Mr Andretta and Mr Coca in charge, and therefore "the results are a crucial indicator of the efficacy of their strategy," according to Nivindya Sharma, senior analyst at Verdict Retail.

"Thankfully, they did not disappoint, as the brand unveiled strong sales growth across both its UK and international divisions - though UK results are inflated due to weak comparatives," she added.

"There is much more potential for growth."

In terms of current trading Mulberry said total retail sales for the 11 weeks to 11 June were up up 9%, with like-for-like sales up 4%.

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