Mulberry issues another profit warning

United Kingdom
Published:  15 October, 2014

Shares in leather handbag maker Mulberry are down 14% after it told investors full-year profits will be "significantly" below expectations. In the six months to September 30, revenues were down 17% from a year earlier to £64.7million (US$102 million).

Mulberry said it had been expecting a "challenging year", but actual trading conditions had been tougher than forecast. Earlier this year, Mulberry announced a radical restructuring.

Under its previous chief executive, Bruno Guillon, the company had begun trying to compete with the higher end brands, such as Prada and Fendi, a move described as misguided by some analysts.

Former boss Godfrey Davis returned to the helm in June this year and has moved the company's products back down the affordability scale, launching a new range of "Tessie" bags, developed with model Cara Delevingne, starting at £500 (US$790).

Davis was previously Chief Executive from 2002 until his appointment as non-executive Chairman during June 2012.

The global luxury goods industry has been through a difficult period with the conflict in Ukraine hitting demand in Russia, and demonstrations in Hong Kong adding to concerns about a slowdown in China.

Big luxury groups such as Cartier-owner Richemont and Prada warned last month of tougher trading conditions, particularly in Asia.

On October 14, consultancy Bain & Co said it expected sales growth in the global luxury goods market to be steady next year at 2014 levels, or around 5% at constant exchange rates.