Luxury bag maker Mulberry has been bitten by a tough UK retail market as like-for-like sales slipped 1 per cent last year.
The British brand said the UK market ‘remains challenging’ as tourist numbers and high street footfall decline.
Mulberry, which makes half of its leather goods in British factories, said same store sales sank 9 per cent in the first 10 weeks of the current financial year.
Mulberry, modelled here by Cara Delevingne, is preparing to launch in South Korea
Group profits before tax jumped 36 per cent to £11.3million in the year to March 31, while revenues edged up 1 per cent.
The progress was spearheaded by a 20 per cent sales leap at its international divisions as the company steamed ahead with global expansion.
Profits declined 8 per cent to £6.9million when accounting for one-off costs relating to its expansion into Asia.
Mulberry has also unveiled plans today to launch in South Korea, following on from its ventures into China and Japan last year.
The brand, helmed by Thierry Andretta, has struggled in the UK as footfall and tourist numbers fall
The brand is joining forces with SHK Holdings to expand in the region and expects to launch Mulberry Korea in the autumn.
Mulberry and SHK will invest £4.6million in the venture, with £3.1 million coming from Mulberry and £1.5 million from SHK.
It will open a new head office in Seoul, where distribution and digital sales will be managed.
Mulberry chief executive Thierry Andretta said: ‘The new business will further develop the omni-channel platform in South Korea and focus on enhancing the customer experience.
‘Taking a direct participation in this important market for luxury goods marks a key milestone in our international development strategy.’