Luxury goods group Mulberry posted a 28 per cent drop in profits yesterday as it counted the cost of its international expansion drive and a decline in wholesale revenues.
The fall in pre-tax profits to £7.2 million for the six months to 30 September came despite a 4 per cent rise in like-for-like retail sales.
This was wiped out by a 5 per cent drop in wholesale revenues, driven by lower orders in Europe, and the cost of overseas expansion. Mulberry said a flagship Paris store is due to open in the next financial year.
The firm also admitted that it has yet to replace creative director Emma Hill, six months after she rocked the company by announcing her departure.
Hill was credited with turning the Somerset-based group from a trusted briefcase and wallet maker into an international fashion powerhouse with a clutch of celebrity fans, including actress Annabelle Wallis, pictured.
Mulberry has just finished building a new factory in Somerset which will allow it to make half of its handbags in England next year.