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 Shares in Luxury Leather-Goods Mulberry Plunge

Shares in Luxury Leather-Goods Mulberry Plunge

2019-03-05

来源:中国皮革协会

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A model presents a creation by Mulberry during the 2013 Autumn/Winter London Fashion Week in London on Feb. 17, 2013. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

LONDON—Shares in U.K. luxury-goods company Mulberry Group MUL.LN -27.29% PLC plunged more than 25% Wednesday after it warned profits for the full year would be substantially below market expectations, with sales squeezed by new handbag designers encroaching on its midrange luxury leather goods.

The company said Christmas sales in the U.K. fell short of expectations and its wholesale partners in South Korea canceled orders. Shares were down 240 pence, or 26.6%, to 660 pence in morning London trading, knocking more than £140 million ($232 million) off Mulberry's market capitalization.

Chief Executive Bruno Guillon told The Wall Street Journal new upstarts in the luxury handbag and accessories market, including Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. KORS -3.80% , siphoned off some of the sales the company had hoped to generate during the holiday season.

U.S. handbag maker Coach Inc. COH -1.78% is also feeling the heat from fresh designers. The company reported a fall in sales and earnings last week.

Mulberry is a relatively small luxury player, with annual sales of £165 million, but it has big ambitions. Under Mr. Guillon's two-year tenure, the company has set its sights on opening flagship stores in international markets and reducing its reliance on the U.K. market, where it makes most of its products and generates most of its profits.

"Mulberry is a beautiful English luxury brand, 50% of our bags are produced in the U.K.," Mr. Guillon said, but he conceded the company has failed to get this message across to the British consumer.

"We haven't been communicating enough about our second workshop we opened in June in Somerset," he said, although he said this was because it isn't ramped up to full capacity yet.

Mulberry is also without a creative director since the departure last year of Emma Hill, the woman who designed two of Mulberry's most famous designs, the Alexa and Del Rey bags.

Mr. Guillon said the recruitment process is down to a shortlist and he hopes to be able to announce a new creative director in the next couple of months.

The runaway success of the Alexa bag in South Korea also contributed to Mulberry's profit warning Wednesday. "People in Korea know the Alexa better than Mulberry," Mr. Guillon said of the overexposure of the bag, which has led to declining demand. The company has seen an unexpected level of order cancellations from its wholesale partners in the country.

"We still have work to do to explain the brand in Korea," he said.

Total retail sales from wholly owned stores in the 17 weeks ended Jan. 25 were 3% below those in the year-earlier period.

As well as "substantial discounting" in the U.K. over Christmas, Mulberry said it expects wholesale sales for the year to be down by about 10% compared with last year after the cancellations in South Korea.

The company expects this reduction in wholesale sales to offset the growth in retail sales, which rose 40% in the period ended Jan. 25. Mulberry now anticipates total sales for the year broadly in line with the previous fiscal year's, it said.

Mulberry reported pretax profit of £26 million on revenue of £165.1 million in the year ended March 31.

责任编辑人:王若文

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