By  on September 30, 2011

LONDON — Profits at Stella McCartney Ltd., the U.K. arm of the global fashion house, rose 34.4 percent to 2.8 million pounds, or $4.4 million, on the back of a double-digit sales increase, according to the latest figures filed at Companies House in London.

The figures — which represent a fraction of the overall Stella McCartney business — refer to the 12-month period ended Dec. 31. They have been converted to dollars at average exchange rates for the period. Companies House is the official registrar of companies based in the U.K.

Sales rose 20.4 percent to 17.6 million pounds, or $27.3 million in the period.

Frederick Lukoff, president and chief executive officer of the brand, said that the sales increase came from all product categories, with a particular emphasis on handbags. “Our main business is ready-to-wear but handbags are doing well, and the Falabella in particular is doing well,” he said, referring to the bag with chain straps and details that comes in a variety of shapes.

McCartney, a longtime animal rights advocate, has always worked exclusively with nonleather materials.

“We thought that [not using leather] would make a difference, but in reality, the consumer doesn’t care. If she decides it’s a cool bag, then she buys it,” Lukoff said.

Lukoff said the brand, which is a 50-50 venture between the designer and PPR, has not hit any rough patches due to the shaky economy. “At this point, I can’t say we’ve seen any effect — maybe it’s too early to tell. And, like everyone else, we cannot not be concerned about the future. But it’s been pretty smooth so far,” he said.

Asked about the strong euro and its impact on margins, he said it had no real impact due to natural hedging built into the brand’s business model.

Stella McCartney Ltd. is the U.K. legal entity within the worldwide business, which is consolidated into PPR’s accounts. The U.K. company oversees the trademarks, licenses, and the London flagship on Bruton Street. The figures reported do not take into account wholesale sales or turnover from seven of the brand’s directly operated stores worldwide.

Lukoff added there were more stores in the pipeline for late this year and early next year, including a 2,000-square-foot unit at Bal Harbour in Florida, and a second London store. The London store will be located at the eastern end of Fulham Road, near Brompton Cross, in the former Jigsaw space. It will have 3,000 square feet of selling space.

In the U.S., the designer has recently opened a 1,700-square-foot unit in Dallas, and will be moving her Manhattan store to 112 Greene Street, between Prince and Spring streets, in early December.

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