Annual revenues decline 9 percent at Mulberry

Mulberry Group, for the year ended March 31, 2015 said that the company’s total revenues were 148.7 million pounds (229.5 million dollars), down 9 percent from 163.5 million pounds (252.5 million dollars) last year, reflecting a small growth in retail sales which was offset by a decline in wholesale sales.

Retail sales were up 9 percent during the second half but were down 9 percent during the first, overall increasing by 1 percent for the year. Growth during the year was supported by new store openings while like-for-like sales were down 2 percent. UK retail sales excluding digital were down 7 percent, whereas international retail sales excluding digital were up 28 percent for the year. Digital sales were up 15 percent, accounting for 12 percent of group sales.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Godfrey Davis, Chairman, said, “We have seen a positive uplift in sales since November as a result of the actions we took at the beginning of the year. Under the leadership of Thierry Andretta and the creative direction of Johnny Coca, we look forward to the Mulberry brand fulfilling its global potential.”

9 percent decline at Mulberry

During the year, four new directly-operated stores were opened in the USA and Germany, one concession was opened in France and the Stansted Airport store was temporarily closed due to the redevelopment of the terminal. There were 70 directly-operated stores as of March 31, 2015.

Annual revenues decline 9 percent at Mulberry

The wholesale business was down 29 percent. The wholesale network at the year-end had a total of 54 partner stores in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Gross margin was 60.5 percent for the year down 280 basis points relative to the prior year. On an adjusted basis, profit before tax was 4.5 million pounds (6.9 million dollars), ahead of expectations. Profit before tax was 1.9 million pounds (2.9 million dollars).

The board of Mulberry, despite the reduced profitability of the last two years, remains confident of the medium term outlook and is recommending the payment of a dividend on the ordinary shares of 5.0p per ordinary share.

Total retail sales for the 10 weeks to June 6, were up 17 percent and over 15 percent on like-for-like basis. A Paris flagship store was opened during April. The company also roped in Thierry Andretta as Chief Executive and Johnny Coca as new Creative Director recently.

"I am pleased that the strategy we approved as a Board last year is beginning to bear fruit," commented Thierry Andretta, Chief Executive Officer. "We are committed to strengthening our position in the UK whilst continuing to pursue our international growth strategy. We are focused upon translating the luxury values and Britishness of the Mulberry brand to a global audience."