Mulberry’s UK sales edged up 1% to £45m in its first half after an increase in tourist spend in London balanced out slowing domestic demand.

The British luxury brand said UK trading was robust as tourist spend thrived in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, but added that the overall UK market “remains uncertain”.

On a like-for-like basis, UK sales slipped 1%.

Mulberry made an overall loss of £0.6m in the six months to September 30, in line with last year’s loss of £0.5m, as it focused on overseas expansion.

During the period, it continued to grow its Asian business, opening its first four stores in Japan. 

Group retail sales edged up 2% to £55.4m, while like-for-likes slid 1%.

Mulberry, which currently operates 66 stores, grew its gross margin by 248 basis points after the brand focused on full-price sales.

Its chief executive officer Thierry Andretta said: “We are delivering on our strategy to grow Mulberry as a global luxury brand. Our international platform is taking shape and we have seen a successful initial trading period in Japan through our collaboration with OGF.

“Our focus on full-price sales growth has delivered good results with new designs proving popular with customers. The Amberley bag, launched during June 2017, has already become a bestseller.

“We continue to invest in our Somerset factories and have created an Artisan Studio that showcases our distinctive British craftsmanship on special and limited-edition products.

“We continue to see strong demand from tourists in London and while the UK remains uncertain, the group remains in a strong position to invest in further developing the customer experience in key international markets and enhancing its unique UK design and manufacturing base.”

In the past 10 weeks, Mulberry said retail like-for-like sales are up 1% year on year, with international sales increasing 12% and digital sales up 9%.