LONDON — Mulberry is making further inroads into the Far East with a joint venture set for Japan, as the company reported higher profits and sales for the first six months of its fiscal year.
On Thursday, Mulberry Group plc said profits in the first half ended Sept. 30 more than tripled to 11.3 million pounds, or $18.31 million, on the back of growing international sales.
Sales rose 61.8 percent to 72.3 million, or $117.1 million, boosted by new store openings and international revenues. All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the period.
“Our strategy to focus on international expansion continues to bear fruit,” said Godfrey Davis, chairman and chief executive officer.
“Against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, Mulberry continues to build market share internationally, and we remain cautiously optimistic about the future prospects of the business.”
Sales in the first weeks of the current half were also on the rise: For the 10 weeks to Dec. 3, retail sales were up 18 percent and underlying sales rose 14 percent against strong comparatives.
Orders for the spring season are up 29 percent, with three months of the selling season remaining.
Nine store openings are planned for the second half. Davis told WWD that a unit would open in San Francisco in April, while the company was also scouting for space in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities.
Davis said he has not seen any evidence of a sales slowdown. “I look at those weekly results and they’re not showing evidence of one,” he said. He said that, in the U.K., customers are increasingly buying items in “safer, less fashion-driven colors.”
He also confirmed that a joint venture for distribution in the Japanese market was going ahead. The joint venture is owned by Club 21 and Mammina Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. IMH is one of the largest department store chains in Japan. Club 21 is controlled by Ong Beng Seng and Christina Ong, who also have a 57 percent stake in Mulberry through a holding company called Challice Ltd.
Through the terms of the new agreement, IMH will progressively make prime space available for Mulberry at its department stores. The 10-year agreement foresees the opening of a series of shop-in-shops, as well was Mulberry flagships in Tokyo and Osaka.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty