Fashion house Mulberry returned to a profit of £5.9m after suffering a £14.2m loss last year, as online sales growth and a “strong recovery” in the UK helped compensate for pandemic store closures.
Digital sales rose to £56.4m in the full year to 27 March – up 55 per cent from £36.3m in 2020, the firm announced in its preliminary results on Wednesday. Online sales also accounted for 49 per cent of total revenue during the last pandemic year.
However, temporary pandemic store closures and factory closures during the UK’s first March lockodwn last year drove group revenue down by 23 per cent to £115m, from £149.3m the previous year.
Despite initial pandemic troubles, Mulberry said it was making positive progress to recovery in the current trading period: “Group revenue in the period to date is 45 per cent ahead of last year, with retail revenue 30 per cent ahead due to a strong recovery in the UK, and continuing growth in Asia,” the luxury brand said in the update.
In the year to 27 March, Mulberry posted positive results in Asia, where retail sales were were up 81 per cent in China and 36 per cent in South Korea. It also said Asian sales were up 46 per cent in the current trading period.
But in the rest of world, retail sales were down 27 per cent in the group’s last financial year.
“In the last 12 months our teams have faced enormous challenges posed by the global health crisis and have responded with resilience, resolve and passion,” said Mulberry CEO Thierry Andretta.
“We have been able to leverage our leading omni-channel position, achieving very strong growth in Asia, and have served the communities in which we operate, including repurposing our factories to produce over 15,000 reusable PPE gowns for frontline NHS workers,” he added.
Shares in the luxury brand opened higher this morning, climbing around 10 per cent to 320 pence per share.
It comes just a few weeks after Mulberry announced it was closing the doors to its Paris store until international tourism returns.
The brand will bag net proceeds after tax of around £10.8m to bolster the company’s cash position and support investment opportunities, it said in a statement.