Mulberry has announced soaring sales and a strong start to the new financial year.

In the year to March 31, sales at Mulberry rose 14 per cent to£51.2 million.

Pre-tax profit was ahead of market expectations of£5.2 million, but down from£6.2 million the year before. At the beginning of the year, Mulberry said profits would be hit by an increase in marketing investment, up by£2.1 million to£4.8 million.

The rate of growth accelerated through the year, with global sales in the second half up 22 per cent on the same period last year. Mulberry’s UK retail sales rose 29 per cent or 10 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Mulberry added that the trading outlook was “positive”, with strong order books and UK retail sales 36 per cent ahead for the first 10 weeks, a like-for-like uplift of 17 per cent.

Mulberry opened eight shops during the period and six department store concessions globally.

Mulberry chairman and chief executive Godfrey Davis said: “These results reflect the continued investment in the brand. With our substantial cash resources, we are well-placed to continue to build Mulberry as a global brand. The new financial year has started strongly.”

Landsbanki analyst Charles Nichols said the most striking feature of the results was the strong current trading and retained its buy stance.

He said: “This dramatic growth contrasts strongly with the weak trends visible in overall UK retail sales and at the leading department stores in which Mulberry products are sold.

“We are reluctant at this stage to extrapolate the current trend, given the importance of Christmas, but this is a very promising start.”