Mulberry performance improves

Mulberry Group Plc said its sales improved in the last 10 weeks as it has succeeded in attracting more customers by re-introducing more affordably priced goods.

Retail sales rose 17 percent in the period ended June 6, the Somerset, England-based company said Thursday. That marked an improvement on the 9 percent gain in the second half of last year, itself a rebound from the first-half’s 9 percent drop.

Mulberry has “just generally done a better job on the product,” Chairman Godfrey Davis said by phone on Thursday, citing the new Cara, Tessie and Alice bags. “We’ve introduced things that people like the look of.”

Mulberry’s pricing “seems to be hitting a sweet spot and that has also added impetus to our sales,” Davis said of the decision to add more bags costing between 500 pounds ($773) and 1,000 pounds.

Digital initiatives such as allowing people to order online and collect from stores are also boosting business, Davis said. The surge in purchasing goods via smartphones means Mulberry won’t need as many stores as might have historically been the case, according the chairman.

Mulberry has made some small adjustments to prices “because the euro has moved so quickly,” though it’s not very material in terms of margin, Davis said. “We’re holding them down in euros, while the market catches up with what’s happening in currency terms.”

Also Thursday, Mulberry reported a 74 percent slump in full-year pretax profit to 4.5 million pounds, before one-time items. Analysts at Barclays in April predicted earnings of 4.3 million pounds on that basis.

Mulberry Spring Summer 2015 ad campaign