LONDON – Profits at Mulberry Group Plc nearly tripled to 4.9 million pounds, or $9 million, from 1.7 million pounds, or $3.1 million, thanks to a strong surge in leather accessories sales in the fiscal year ending March 31.

Sales rose 44.3 percent to 43.4 million pounds, or $79.4 million, from 30.1 million pounds, or $55.1 million, the company said in a statement Thursday.

All figures have been converted from the pound at current exchange.

Ninety percent of those sales came from accessories, and chiefly leather handbags. The remaining 10 percent came from the company’s small but growing rtw collection.

The company, which is controlled by the Ong family and listed on London’s secondary AIM stock exchange, will also pay its first dividend since 1988 – 1 penny, or $0.02, per share.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s issue of WWD.

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