Mulberry upbeat on profits despite year of lockdowns
Mulberry issued a brief trading update on Wednesday and revealed that — unlike many companies in the wake of the lockdowns during the last year — it will manage to report “a small underlying profit before tax” for the 12 months to the end of last month (FY21).
In its half-year report, the company had said FY21 revenue was due to be lower than in the previous year but that losses would be reduced. Yet Mulberry customers have clearly stayed loyal to the brand and the board now expects a profit that will “outperform expectations”.
That’s encouraging given the devastation of the past 12 months and the fact that many consumers working from home and not socialising have seen little need to buy expensive bags, the company’s core product category.
It has been helped by “continued strong growth in the group's Asian markets, strong sales on [its] global digital platforms and improved margins due to lower markdown sales”, all of which suggests that other markets should also improve as lockdown restrictions are eased.
But there was little detail in the update and we didn’t hear how sales have fared in key markets such as Europe and North America. We have to assume that they haven’t been so great as European stores in particular have been shut for long periods and tourism has been at historic lows.
We won’t know any more until the firm releases its full results in July.
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