Leather prices hit Mulberry’s bottom line

United Kingdom
Published:  09 December, 2013

Mulberry, the Somerset based company, which is famous for its handbags named after stars including Alexa Chung and Lana Del Rey, reported a 28% tumble in first-half profit as its turnaround plan and international expansion hit the bottom line.

Mulberry's half-year profits fell because hard-up consumers ate less beef and the shortage in cow hides drove up leather prices.
The luxury goods firm also said automotive makers had driven strong demand for leather hides contributing to a 28% fall in pre-tax profit to £7.2million (US$11.8 million) for the year to September 30, 2013.
 However, retail sales growth jumped by 4% to £49.5 million (US$81.1 million). Chief executive Bruno Guillon also blamed the cost of opening stores in international markets, and a 5% fall in wholesale revenues as European shops took a more cautious approach to placing orders, for the drop in earnings.

It intends to open stores across Asia and the US and wants to attract new customers from as far afield and China and South America.

Mulberry is due to open another 15 stores during the coming year.

Guillon added: “Chinese shoppers, for instance, need to see us in Asia but also see us in the right locations when they travel abroad.”

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