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Mulberry hit by slow Asia sales

Handbag maker Mulberry signalled more pressure on the luxury goods market after half-year profits slumped 36% amid slowing demand in Asia.

IMPROVING: Mulberry said sales are 11% ahead in the nine weeks to December 1.  Picture: Getty Images
IMPROVING: Mulberry said sales are 11% ahead in the nine weeks to December 1. Picture: Getty Images

The group, which recently warned over full-year profits due to disappointing international sales, said trading in its wholesale arm had worsened in recent weeks.

It is also taking a hit from moves to improve the quality of its wholesale distribution network and said sales in the division were expected to fall by around 10% over the full year.

The wholesale blow and slowing retail sales growth left interim profits at £10 million in the six months to September 30, from £15.6m, even though revenue increased 6% to £76.5m.

It has been a tough start to Bruno Guillon's tenure as chief executive after he joined from Hermes in March, although Mulberry indicated stronger trading in the current period with like-for-like retail sales running 11% ahead in the nine weeks to December 1.

Nick Bubb, independent retail analyst, said the half-year results were "weak", but added Mulberry had seen an "encouraging" start to the second half. WH Ireland analyst John Cummins remained neutral on the stock ahead of its key Christmas period.

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