Mulberry bags trebled profit total

Mulberry bags trebled profit total

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Luxury handbag-maker Mulberry Group has reported that its half-year profits have trebled

Luxury handbags and accessories maker Mulberry Group has said it is struggling to keep up with demand for its products as half-year profits trebled.

Sales increased by 38% to £44.7 million in the six months to September 30 and pre-tax profits soared 207% to £4.7 million helped by strong demand from Asia, where sales increased by 180%.

The company’s 18 standalone stores and five airport-based outlets saw like-for-like sales rise 29% in the period and sales were up 47% in the last 10 weeks.

Orders for autumn and winter ranges were double last year, with particularly strong sales through Selfridges and Net-a-Porter.

Unlike many in the fashion industry, the Bath-based firm said it had no plans to discount before Christmas.

Mulberry is to expand its factory in Somerset by 30%, creating 60 new jobs to help it meet demand for orders for next year’s ranges – which are already up 91%.

The group said it was unable to meet all of the demand in the half-year.

Its handbags can sell for as much as £3,000 and include its recently launched Alexa handbag – named after television presenter Alexa Chung. Other brands include Bayswater, Daria and Mitzy.

Orders through its wholesale business, which includes sales to franchisees and other retailers, were up 76%. Sales through its website grew 32% and now represent 7% of the group’s revenues.

This week Mulberry opened a new flagship store on New Bond Street, London, and will open a store in Manchester next week. The firm also hopes to open a flagship store in New York, which it said will kick off the next stage of development in the American business.

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