Mulberry to launch in South Korea following strong international sales
Luxury brand Mulberry has unveiled plans to launch in South Korea as it reported that its annual pre-tax profit has risen by 36% to £11.3 million when start-up costs and expenses related to its expansion in Asia are excluded.
The costs in Asia meant that reported pre-tax profit in the year to 31 March was £6.9 million compared to £7.5 million in the previous year.
Revenue was up 1% to £169.7 million as retail sales increased by 3%. While UK sales were broadly flat, international sales rose by 20%.
Meanwhile, online sales climbed by 14% in the period to account for 17% of group revenue compared to 15% in the prior year.
During the period, the company upped the pace of its international expansion with the establishment of new entities in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. It also opened five new stores and relocated two shops in Asia.
In addition, today the company has announced that it has signed an agreement with SHK to form a new majority owned entity to operate Mulberry's business in South Korea.
Thierry Andretta, Mulberry chief executive, said: "We have made significant progress during the year on our international strategy, creating new Mulberry subsidiaries in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. We are also pleased to announce today the formation of a new majority owned venture to develop the business in South Korea. Our international business is growing and following the completion of this set up phase in Asia, we will focus on omnichannel, digital partnerships and marketing investment in the region.”
Looking at current trading, Mulberry said retail like-for-like sales were down 7% for the ten weeks to 2 June. International sales rose by 1% in the period, but sales fell by 9% in the UK due to lower footfall and a drop in tourist numbers.
Andretta added: “Although the UK market remains challenging, we will continue to invest in our strategy to develop Mulberry into a global luxury brand to deliver increased shareholder value."
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