Mulberry posts loss as sales in the UK market slump

Worldwide
Published:  21 June, 2019

The British brand known for its leather handbags has posted a pre-tax loss of £5 million (US$6.34 million) for the year ended March 30, 2019.

While international revenue increased 7% in the period, representing 31% of Group revenue against 28% a year earlier, sales in its core market UK declined 6%, leading to an overall 2% decline in sales In the year; totalling £166.3 million (US$210.85 million). Mulberry’s adjusted profit before tax amounted to £1 million (US$1.27 million) in the period, while pre-tax loss was £5 million (US$6.34 million) compared with a £6.9 million (US$8.74 million) profit in the prior year period.

Mulberry said it faced particularly challenging conditions in home market UK, with performance “materially affected” by the House of Fraser department store chain entering into administration and both lower tourist and domestic traffic. Global digit sales were up +27% in the period, representing 22% of Group revenue against 27% in the previous year.

The British brand says it maintains its core focus on leather goods with a complementary lifestyle range such as a range of eyewear, jewellery and soft accessories. Mulberry has two factories located in Somerset, South West England, and produces approximately 50% of its leather bags in the UK. Focussing on the Asian market, the brands has expanded its store network from six in 2018 to a total of 34; in Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.

Mulberry's Willow factory in Somerset