Luxury handbag maker Mulberry has revealed widening half-year losses but said strong international demand and tourist spend is helping offset a slowing UK market.

The group posted pre-tax losses of £609,000 for the six months to September 30 against £515,000 a year earlier after like-for-like sales fell 1 per cent.

Chief executive Thierry Andretta said the UK market remains “uncertain”, with domestic sales falling 1 per cent despite a boost from overseas shoppers taking advantage of the Brexit-hit pound, while overseas sales dropped 3 per cent.

But the group has returned to sales growth since the half-year, with a 12 per cent surge in international sales helping overall sales lift 1 per cent in the 10 weeks to 2 December.

Mr Andretta said: “We continue to see strong demand from tourists in London and whilst the UK remains uncertain, the group remains in a strong position to invest in further developing the customer experience in key international markets and enhancing its unique UK design and manufacturing base.”

The group is focusing efforts on expanding overseas, in particular to Asian markets as a growth area.

It recently announced a tie-up with Japanese firm Onward Global Fashion and Mr Andretta said the firm had seen a “successful” start to trading in the Japanese market since the deal was struck in July.

PA

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