Sales at luxury brand and retailer Mulberry soared over the festive period, showing consumer appetite for ‘It Bags’ is yet to be sated.

Mulberry reported that like-for-like sales at full-price stores soared by 70% in the six weeks to January 15. Like-for-likes at its off-price stores rose by 34%.

Total sales at Mulberry’s own stores leapt by 66% and the retailer said wholesale orders for spring 2011 are up 104% already, with three months of the season remaining. Mulberry said: “Margins for

the year to date continue to be strong as a result of improved operational gearing from increased volumes and due to a larger proportion of merchandise being sold at the full retail price, compared with the previous year.”

House broker Altium Securities has increased its pre-tax profit forecast for Mulberry’s full year from £15m to £18.5m and from £22m to £25m next year. Altium analyst Philip Dorgan said: “Mulberry’s trading gets better and better. We believe that the Mulberry brand now has global reach, as its design team has developed an outstanding product that appeals to a broad range of consumers, built upon strong existing craftsmanship and quality connotations.

“This should allow strong, sustained sales growth in all three of its main channels - retail, franchise and wholesale - primarily in international markets.”

FinnCap analyst Dave Stoddart increased his profit forecast for this year from £15m to £17.5m.


Mulberry (full price stores)70%six weeks to January 15
Mulberry (off-price stores)34%six weeks to January 15
Primark+4% (analyst estimate)16 weeks to January 8
WHSmith (group)-5%21 weeks to January 22
WHSmith (high street)-7%eight weeks to January 22
WHSmith (travel)-3%21 weeks to January 22