British accessories brand Mulberry reported a fall in UK sales in the 10 weeks to June, but announced a new move into South Korea designed to take advantage of the Asian market.

Pre-tax profit fell 8 percent to £7.5 million, mainly linked to the startup costs of the group’s expansion in Asia, with revenue rising 1 percent to £169.7 million. Without these costs, pre-tax profit from existing business rose 36 percent to £11.3 million.

The UK market remained week, with the group reporting a 9 percent fall in sales on the back of “lower footfall and fewer tourists, as more widely reported”.

“We have made significant progress during the year on our international strategy, creating new Mulberry subsidiaries in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan,” chief executive chief executive Thierry Andretta said.

The group then announced its decision to merge with SHK in Korea to create Mulberry Korea.

“Our international business is growing and following the completion of this set up phase in Asia, we will focus on omni-channel, digital partnerships and marketing investment in the region.”

“Although the UK market remains challenging, we will continue to invest in our strategy to develop Mulberry into a global luxury brand to deliver increased shareholder value.”

Mulberry will own 60 per cent of the share capital of the newly created entity, with SHK owning the remaining 40 per cent stake, and it is expected to start trading by autumn of this year.