Increased revenue but first half year profits down at Mulberry
The drop reflects the companys continued investment in international expansion and increased seasonality.
Results for the six months ending 30th September 2013 show Total revenue up 2% to £78.1 million (2012: £76.5 million). Profit before tax is £7.2 million (2012: £10.0 million). International retail revenue is up 29%.
Current trading shows Retail revenue up 3% for the nine weeks to 30 November 2013 (as adjusted for UK sample sale timing).
Bruno Guillon, chief executive, commented, "Mulberry has delivered 6% retail sales growth during the period and 4% like-for-like growth. This includes UKretail sales which were up 5% despite a tough economic climate and encouraging growth in international retail sales which were up 29%. Wholesale sales were 5% lower for the period, reflecting more conservative ordering by European wholesale customers.
During the period, we completed the construction of our new Somerset factory on time and to budget and the intensive training of the 240 new staff recruited so far is progressing well. The factory is already in production and is expected to be at full capacity by mid-2014, allowing us to achieve our target of making 50% of our handbags in England for AW14.
We are also pleased with the launch of a new global web platform during July 2013, which was the result of a two year project to enhance customer experience across mobile, tablet and desktop and deliver increased language and content capability.
Mulberry continues with its international expansion and we are on track to open 15 new stores for the full year. I am also pleased to announce that we have recently secured a location for a flagship store in a prime location on Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris which is scheduled to open during 2014/15. Located in a key tourist destination, this store will generate global visibility for the Mulberry brand."
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