Mulberry has posted widening losses at the interim mark as it seeks to increase focus on its international portfolio to offset sluggish UK sales.

The luxury retailer reported a loss before tax and IFRS 16 of £9.9m in the 26 weeks to September 28, compared with a loss of £8.8m the previous year.

Revenue edged up 0.8% year on year to £68.9m as international sales climbed 12% while UK sales slid 4%.

The retailer opened a net 17 new stores during the period, taking its overall retail store estate to 123, while online sales rose 23%.

Sales growth was strong in Asia, with the region now accounting for 14% of overall group revenue. By contrast, Mulberry said its UK business was “impacted by an increasingly promotion led environment and low traffic to stores”.

The handbag specialist said it expected this trajectory of strong international sales and a weaker UK performance to continue for the remainder of the financial year, but expected “to trade profitably and generate cash” in the second half.

Chief executive Thierry Andretta said: “We have made further progress with our strategy through continued investment in a direct-to-customer, international, digital and omnichannel model.

“We are seeing the benefit of recent initiatives in Asia which remains a significant growth opportunity. This will support our ambition for international to become a greater proportion of group revenue.

“As part of our approach to sustainability, we are progressing the use of recycled materials and sourcing 65% of our leathers from environmentally certified tanneries while maintaining an accessible luxury price positioning.

“Looking forward, we will continue to build Mulberry as a global luxury brand with a strong focus on sustainability and innovative product, appealing to both our existing customers and new audiences.”