Mulberry profits to beat forecasts

Mulberry profits to beat forecasts


Handbag maker Mulberry has said annual profits would beat expectations

Luxury handbag maker Mulberry has said annual profits would beat expectations after a “very strong” Christmas.

The group reported a 66% leap in own stores and concession sales, with like-for-like growth of 70% across full price outlets in the six weeks to January 15.

Discount outlet like-for-like sales lifted 34%, according to the group.

Mulberry 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.

The Bath-based group is having to expand its factory by nearly a third to help it meet soaring demand, particularly from international consumers.

It said last month that interim profits trebled to £4.7 million, adding it was unable to match demand in the UK and overseas, with sales to Asia up 180% in the half-year.

Shares in Mulberry rose 5% on Friday’s full-year profits cheer.

Philip Dorgan, analyst at Mulberry’s in-house broker Altium Securities, upped his full-year underlying profit forecast from £15 million to £18.5 million for the year to March 31, which would be a three-fold rise on the year before.

Mulberry said profit margins were being helped by a greater proportion of full price sales against a year earlier. It added that wholesale orders for spring 2011 are currently 104% up year-on-year, with three months of the season remaining.

Mulberry has 82 stores and concessions, of which 35 are overseas partner stores. In the UK, it has 21 own-stores and 26 concessions.



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