LONDON, United Kingdom — Mulberry Group Plc fell the most more than a year in London after saying earnings will be “substantially below” estimates because of weak holiday sales in the U.K. and order cancellations in South Korea.
The shares slid as much as 24 percent to 686 pence, the steepest drop since Oct. 23, 2012. They traded at that price as of 8:24 a.m., wiping about 128 million pounds ($212 million) off the company’s market value.
Christmas discounting in the U.K. led to a deteriorating business climate there, while the effect of canceled wholesale orders from Korea has been “significantly more challenging than anticipated,” Mulberry said today in a statement.
“Due to tough trading conditions over the Christmas period which saw significant discounting across the market, Mulberry has experienced lower than expected U.K. retail sales which, together with wholesale order cancellations from Korea, will adversely impact our profit this year,” Chief Executive Officer Bruno Guillon said in the statement.
Before today, analysts predicted pretax profit for the year through March of about 27 million pounds, according to the average of three estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Guillon is seeking to refocus Mulberry as a luxury brand by drawing on its British heritage and shifting prices higher. His plans, which include opening stores overseas, will lead to short-term disruption in the wholesale channel, according to analysts at Nomura.
Wholesale revenue in the year ending March 31 will fall about 10 percent, Mulberry said today. Full-year sales will be “broadly in line” with last year, it said.
By Andrew Roberts in Paris; Editors: Paul Jarvis, Kim McLaughlin