Mulberry Group PLC’s (LON:MUL) shares dropped on Wednesday as the luxury brand counted its first-half losses as it navigates tough UK trading conditions, unable to be saved by good performances from its minor international branches.
In the six months to 28 September, 2019, the AIM-listed firm racked up a loss before tax of £10.9mln, around 25% higher compared to a £8.2mln loss for the same period last year, with revenue broadly flat at £68.9mln versus £68.3mln.
The company said international sales were up 12% thanks to growth in Asia, while digital revenue jumped 23%, but in the UK sales fell by 4%.
The majority of Mulberry’s standalone stores are in 55 locations in the UK, while internationally there are 47 stores, rising to 68 including franchise partners.
The firm said it expects these trends to continue in its second-half, with Asian markets likely to generate double-digit sales growth and international sales making up an increasingly bigger portion of the group’s revenue.
The company said its UK portfolio has been under review, with the firm stating it will focus on optimising the network having already closed three House of Fraser locations and opened four in John Lewis.
The group said: “The board expects the group to trade profitably and to generate cash during the second half of the financial year.”
Mulberry has been working on its online presence, introducing same-day delivery to all UK stores as well as launching on online shopping platform FarFetch, although analysts say it must keep up with other luxury peers such as Burberry Group plc (LON:BRBY) which are also boosting efforts.
In afternoon trade, Mulberry shares were 5.4% lower at 265p.