Mulberry quadruples its profits

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Luxury handbag maker Mulberry celebrated its 40th anniversary in style today as it more than quadrupled its annual profits.

The group, founded in 1971, has benefited from seemingly insatiable demand for its goods - including its Alexa handbag, named after television presenter Alexa Chung.

The company has doubled the production of women's handbags as a result of the rapid increase in demand and is expanding capacity at its Somerset factory by 30%, creating some 50 new manufacturing jobs.

Mulberry, which has 86 stores and concessions worldwide, including 44 in the UK, posted pre-tax profits of £23.3 million in the year to March 31, compared to £5.1 million the previous year.

As the group eyes further expansion in China and Japan, one analyst said he believed it could more than double profits by 2014.