Luxury fashion retailer Mulberry Group, famous for its popular handbags, has posted a massive 358 per cent rise in profits in its full-year results today.
A revenues jump of 69 per cent saw profit-before-tax increase to £23.3 million for the year ending March 31st 2011, compared to just £5.1 million during the previous 12 months.
Strong international and online expansion helped Mulberry improve retail sales by 44 per cent in total to £73.5 million and 43 per cent on a like-for-like (LFL) basis.
Godfrey Davis, Chairman and CEO of Mulberry, commented: “Mulberry has increased sales by 69 per cent year-on-year and delivered a step change in profitability.
“Strong demand in all markets has continued into the new financial year and the outlook for the Mulberry brand is positive.”
Global demand for luxury items has already helped other British brands, such as Burberry, recently record extraordinary growth and Mulberry has also been able to tap into this demand.
During the 12-month period the retailer opened nine stores in international locations such as Beijing, Korea, Qatar and Sydney helping to raise international revenues 145 per cent to £40.5 million.
Domestically Mulberry opened a new flagship store on Bond Street in London and new headquarters in the capital on Kensington Church Street, and its online operation grew to represent eight per cent of overall trading with its website sales increasing 64 per cent to £9.2 million.
Its gross margin increased to 65 per cent from 59 per cent during the year and underlying gross margin also saw a slight increase, cash inflow grew to £26.6 million and net cash balance almost doubled to £21.4 million.
Although general trading conditions in Britain and Western Europe remain difficult, the group’s further global growth plans leave it confident that the 42 per cent rise in LFL retail sales already seen in the first ten weeks of the year will continue.
Davis added: “While we remain cautious about the global economic environment, we are focused on accelerating our international expansion.”
New stores expected to opened before the year-end include ones in New York, Amsterdam, Germany, Korea, China and Bangkok.
Basic earnings per share during the last year stood at 29.8p, up 473 per cent from 2010, whilst its proposed dividend is 4p per share, an improvement of 82 per cent from last year.