Miranda Dobson

Mulberry creates 300 British jobs despite profit loss

English luxury fashion house, Mulberry, announced a pre-tax profit fall of 36% in its half yearly report, announced on Thursday.

The company, which is famous for its leather handbags, said that despite total revenue improvements of 6% up to £76.5m for the 6 months up to September 30th, investments and “quality initiatives” meant profits had taken a hit.

Mulberry also announced that construction on a new UK factory would create 300 new jobs in the UK, and will open in Summer 2013.

Further highlights for the last six months included eight new store openings in Europe, North America and South Korea.

Like-for-like sales were up 11% for Mulberry in start to the second half of the year, while retail revenue increased by 19% for the first nine weeks up to December 1st.

Mulberry’s chief executive, Bruno Guillon, commented: “The UK retail business and key wholesale accounts have continued to perform well in the context of a challenging economic environment.

“The international retail rollout is on track with 17 to 20 new store openings expected for the full year. Profit before tax for the period was below last year, mainly reflecting quality initiatives and increased investment in international retail expansion to drive future growth.

“We continue to focus on creativity, craftsmanship and quality and will place great emphasis on reinforcing Mulberry’s luxury positioning through the quality of our products, retail experience, marketing communications and choice of distribution channels.”

The company said that although it expects to meet market predictions, the Christmas trading period will be a deciding factor if it is to make these targets.

Mr Guillon added: “During the period, we have rationalised certain wholesale accounts and refocused the outlet business which has impacted financial performance in the short term.

“However we firmly believe that this is in the long term interests of transforming Mulberry into a global luxury brand.”

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