BRITISH success story Mulberry rolled out more bumper profits today as it highlighted the demand that has prompted it to open a second UK factory.
Lifted by strong trading in Asian markets and a 30% rise in sales from 45 stores and department store concessions in the UK, Mulberry reported a 54% jump in profits to £36m for the year to March 31.
While sales growth has slowed in the weeks since then, Mulberry will press ahead with recently announced plans to open a second factory in Somerset in a move creating 300 jobs and doubling its UK capacity.
The £7.5m project in Bridgwater, which is being supported by the Regional Growth Fund, comes less than a year after it completed the extension of its existing factory at Chilcompton, Somerset, creating 60 new jobs.
Revenues rose 38% to £168.5m over the last financial year, helped by new stores in New York and at Westfield Stratford near the Olympic site.
The company’s best known product of recent times has been the Alexa bag - inspired by style icon Alexa Chung - while in recent weeks it has launched the Del Rey bag, which is inspired by American artist Lana Del Rey.
Mulberry said store sales were up 12% for the 10 weeks to last Saturday as it comes up against tougher comparatives with a year earlier and as trading conditions become more difficult.
Chairman Godfrey Davis said: "While the current economic conditions make the short term trading outlook more challenging in some markets, we remain confident about Mulberry’s long-term future."