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Mulberry has swung to a profit and its international sales have surged as the UK luxury brand has benefited from six months when pandemic restrictions have been eased.

The UK group, which is 29 per cent owned by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, reaped some benefits from its expansion abroad, with international sales representing 40 per cent of group revenue.

Group sales rose by a third to £65.7m, while in the US they surged 57 per cent and in China 38 per cent, in the 26 weeks to September 25.

The group, known for its upmarket handbags, eked out a six-month pre-tax profit of £10.2m, which includes a one-off £5.7m profit, from a loss of £2.4m in the same period a year earlier.

Sales for the latest eight-week period to November 20 remained buoyant compared with a year ago, up 35 per cent, the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

The group’s shares, which trade on London’s AIM market, have risen 34 per cent this year.

“The bold decisions we have taken with regards to focusing on our UK production capabilities, means that we are well placed for the festive trading period and beyond,” said chief executive Thierry Andretta.

Digital sales declined to 29 per cent of group revenue in the six months, lower than during 2020’s lockdowns, suggesting more people were visiting stores rather than buying online. They were up a fifth from the first half of 2019, before the pandemic struck.

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