LONDON — Mulberry Group moved back into the black in the first half after notching a 4.8 percent increase in revenue growth and seeing strong demand for its products in the United Kingdom.
Profit for the six months to Sept. 30 was 120,000 pounds, or $185,000, compared with a loss of 410,000 pounds, $631,400, in the corresponding period last year, while revenue climbed 4.8 percent to 67.8 million pounds, or $104.4 million.
All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the six-month period.
The company said U.K. retail growth in the period was 12 percent. Like-for-like sales in the region climbed 14 percent, following Mulberry’s decision last year to broaden its offer and bring down the average price of its bags and small leather goods to appeal once again to its core British consumer.
During London Fashion Week in February, Mulberry will unveil its first collection by the new creative director Johnny Coca, a luxury accessories veteran who came from the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton group.
“Our strategy is beginning to deliver tangible results in line with our expectations,” said Thierry Andretta, Mulberry’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to Johnny Coca’s first Mulberry collection which will emphasize our Britishness and our heritage in leather, whilst delivering great quality within our targeted price range.”
He said the company remains committed to its U.K. manufacturing base, which produces about 50 percent of its handbags. “We are excited about the future and look forward to the Mulberry brand fulfilling its potential both in the U.K. and internationally.”
The second half is off to a solid start, despite challenging comparatives.
Retail sales for the 10 weeks to Dec. 5 were up 4 percent relative to the same period last year, with like-for-like numbers up 5 percent. The company noted that while retail sales have continued to grow in the second half, the comparatives are tougher as the new pricing strategy had started to take effect in the second half of last year.
Sales in the second half have so far been coming from strong growth in the digital business, which is up 18 percent. Mulberry emphasized that full-year results are dependent on the next few weeks of trading through Christmas and into January.
Mulberry also said Thursday that it sees great potential in the women’s rtw and footwear categories, which are still small, and that it plans to license both categories. It confirmed it has signed letters of intent with third-party partners to manufacture and distribute these lines in a bid to round out the offer and boost its image as a lifestyle brand.