Luxury handbag maker Mulberry to expand UK factory as sales skyrocket

Luxury handbag maker Mulberry expands UK factory as sales return to pre-pandemic levels

Mulberry plans to expand its UK plant as sales return to pre-pandemic levels.

The luxury bag maker, which makes around 60% of its products at two carbon neutral factories in Somerset, already added an additional production line last year, creating 50 jobs.

General manager Thierry Andretta said he would add another if sales continued to grow as expected.

Expansion plans: Mulberry bestsellers include bag named after model Alexa Chung (pictured) and classic Bayswater design

Mulberry’s production capacity in the UK has helped it allay fears of a Christmas shortage, as manufacturing most of its bags in Somerset has protected it from supply chain disruptions.

In the past two months alone, sales are up 35% from the same period last year, the company said.

The company’s bestsellers include the bag named after the Alexa Chung model and the classic Bayswater design.

Andretta said: “The bold decisions we have taken to focus on our UK production capabilities mean that we are well positioned for the festive trading season and beyond.

“We have an agile supply chain, and as part of our Brexit planning and in anticipation of disruptions, we have made the decision to order more raw materials than usual and hold more inventory. This means that we are not affected by the global supply crisis.

Mulberry said in the six months leading up to September 25 he had made a profit of £ 10.2million compared to a loss of £ 2.4million a year earlier.

This followed a 34% increase in sales from £ 48.9million in the first half of 2020 to £ 65.7million this year.

Its UK branch, responsible for 57% of its revenue, recorded sales of £ 38million in the first six months of this year, 7% above pre-pandemic levels.

Sales in the United States rose 57% to £ 3.3million during the period, while growth in China pushed sales in Asia-Pacific to £ 11.8million, or a jump of 23%.

The company said sales had been better than expected since September and would continue to grow for the remainder of the year. The announcement sent stocks up 22.5% or 68p to 370p.

Singaporean billionaire Christina Ong, the so-called Queen of Bond Street, owns 56% of the company through Challice Limited.

His stake jumped to around £ 23million yesterday, while the 37% stake in Mike Ashley’s Frasers group rose to around £ 15million.

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