Increased tourist spending helps Mulberry bag 21% rise in profits to £7.5m

Luxury handbag maker Mulberry has reported rising full-year profits, helped by an increase in tourists taking advantage of the weak pound.

The company said pre-tax profits in the year to March 31 rose 21% to £7.5 million, while revenue was up 8% to £168.1 million.

Like-for-like sales in the UK increased 5% in the period, and Mulberry said that in the 10 weeks to June 3 comparable sales grew 2% in Britain, helped by tourist spend.

"In the UK, like-for-like sales were up 2% and continue to benefit from an increase in tourist spending in London, although domestic demand has been softer," the group said.

The firm last year launched the first collection under recently-hired creative director Johnny Coca, with nine new bags - including a revamp of its best-selling Bayswater design.

The "Zipped Bayswater" bag has become an immediate bestseller since its launch in October, Mulberry said.

Mulberry chief executive Thierry Andretta said the new range has "generated strong creative momentum".

He added: "During the year we have made good progress. Our sales and profits are growing, enhancing our strong cash position.

"We have advanced our international growth strategy with a new partnership in Asia and the continued expansion of our omni-channel offer in key markets."

The group has staged a bounce-back over the past two years after seeing profits hammered as it attempted to move upmarket and compete with the likes of Gucci and Dior.

The group, which has more than 60 stores globally, announced in 2016 a deal to grow in Asia with its majority shareholder Challice, a company run by Singapore billionaire Christina Ong and her family.

To this end, Mulberry opened new stores in Shanghai and Hong Kong earlier this year.