Mulberry warns on year profit

LONDON – Mulberry has become the latest luxury brand to warn on profit, blaming both lower-than-expected international retail sales and a shortfall on wholesale revenue.

“Mulberry now expects group revenue growth for the year to March 31 2013 to be below market expectations,” the firm said on Tuesday.

“As a result of this, combined with the previously highlighted investment being made in international retail expansion, we now expect full year profits to be below last year.”

The firm, famous for its leather bags, said it continued to be “strongly profitable” and generate significant cash to fund future expansion.

It said total revenue rose 6 percent to 76.5 million pounds ($122.7 million) in the six months to September 30.

Retail revenue rose 13 percent to 46.5 million pounds and was up 7 percent on a like-for-like basis.

Wholesale shipments to third parties fell 4 percent to 30.0 million pounds.

Shares in Mulberry, down 41 percent over the last six months, closed Monday at 1,320 pence, valuing the business at 787 million pounds.

UK peer Burberry (BRBY.L) warned on profit last month but issued a more reassuring update earlier this month.

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