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Mulberry shares rocket 25% as sales bounce back

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London, United Kingdom - April 16, 2015: People outside a Mulberry Store in London, England. Founded in England in 1971, Mulberry is a fashion company known for leather goods
UK retail sales increased 36% to £38m, while China retail sales climbed 38%, which contributed to the 23% rise in Asia Pacific retail sales to £11.8m. Photo: Reuters

Mulberry (MUL.L) shares were in back in fashion on Wednesday, soaring as much as 25%, as the company revealed its sales had returned to pre-COVID-19 levels.

The British handbag maker saw a 34% growth to £65.7m ($87.8m) in the six months to 25 September, with a pre-tax profit of £10.2m, compared to a £2.4m loss a year earlier.

This was partly boosted by a disposal of a Paris lease of £5.7m, the firm said.

UK retail sales increased 36% to £38m, while China retail sales climbed 38%, which contributed to the 23% rise in Asia Pacific retail sales to £11.8m.

The company, which cut its workforce last year as sales suffered during COVID-19 lockdowns, also saw US retail sales increase 57% to £3.3m. International retail sales represented 40% of group revenue.

Digital sales stood at 29% of group revenue in the period, lower than last year when stores were closed, but up from 20% from its pre-pandemic levels, “reflecting the ongoing strength of this channel”. By comparison, store sales were up 87% to £36.5m.

Mulberry shares rocketed on Wednesday on the back of the news. Chart: Yahoo Finance
Mulberry shares rocketed on Wednesday on the back of the news. Chart: Yahoo Finance

It added that it was “well placed” for the festive trading period and beyond, successfully managing supply chain delays hitting all sectors and business by stocking up on more raw materials in its Somerset factories.

“I am proud of Mulberry's performance during the period,” Thierry Andretta, chief executive, said.

“Our long-term strategy, namely our innovative and sustainable products made in carbon neutral Somerset factories, our market-leading omni-channel distribution model, and expansion into Asia Pacific, has delivered a strong financial performance.”

Read more: European stock markets climb higher despite rising COVID fears

Mulberry recently launched its “The Lowest Carbon collection” in a bid to reach zero carbon emissions by 2035. The collection is crafted from the world’s lowest carbon leather and uses a local supply chain.

It has also launched a resale programme “Preloved Bags” to boost its sustainability credentials. New bags include the Sadie, a satchel with a typography lock, and the Billie bag, with a “youthful crossbody slouchy silhouette”.

“The bold decisions we have taken with regards to focussing on our UK production capabilities, means that we are well placed for the festive trading period and beyond,” Andretta said.

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