June 14, 2017 / 7:46 AM / in 6 months

Mulberry's annual profit up 21 pct on new products, online gains

LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) - British luxury brand Mulberry reported a 21 percent rise in annual profit, benefiting from well received new products and increased online sales.

The company, best known for its leather handbags, said on Wednesday it made a pretax profit of 7.5 million pounds ($9.6 million) in the year to March 31, up from 6.2 million pounds in 2015-16, on revenue up 8 percent to 168.1 million pounds.

Sales from digital channels increased 19 percent to represent 15 percent of group revenue, while new products such as the “Zipped Bayswater” handbag gained momentum.

“During the year we have made good progress. Our sales and profits are growing, enhancing our strong cash position,” said Chief Executive Thierry Andretta.

Mulberry said like-for-like retail sales were up 1 percent in the 10 weeks to June 3, with UK like-for-like sales up 2 percent.

It said the UK continued to benefit from an increase in tourist spending in London, although domestic demand has been softer.

Shares in Mulberry, up 9 percent over the last year, were down 2 percent at 1,108 pence at 0713 GMT, valuing the business at 670.5 million pounds. (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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