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UPDATE 1-Jaeger says sales picking up, eyes expansion
* Annual EBITDA up 16 pct to 7 mln stg on flat sales
* Sales since year-end up 12 pct
* To expand abroad, launch new online flagship store
(Adds detail, background)
LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) - British luxury brand Jaeger has seen a strong pick up in sales in recent weeks, it said on Wednesday as it posted a 16 percent rise in annual earnings and outlined plans to expand internationally and online.
The group, owned by a management team which also bought the luxury Aquascutum brand last year, said it made 7 million pounds ($10 million) of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the year to Feb. 28.
Sales were flat at 85.5 million pounds but were up 12 percent so far this financial year.
Luxury goods groups across Europe are reporting a pick up in demand following a deep recession -- Hermes (HRMS.PA) for instance earlier this month posted a surge in first-quarter sales -- though they face headwinds due to government austerity measures and air travel is disrupted by the volcanic eruption in Iceland. [ID:nLDE6450Z4]
British luxury group Burberry (BRBY.L) reports annual results on May 26.
Fashion entrepreneur Harold Tillman bought Jaeger in 2003 and was joined a year later by Chief Executive Belinda Earl, a former boss of department stores group Debenhams (DEB.L).
The pair are credited with taking the 126-year-old brand from English county shows to international catwalks, as well as broadening its appeal by introducing new product areas like homewares, sunglasses and fragrance.
Jaeger, with 45 of its own stores and a presence in department stores including Harrods and Selfridges, said it would continue expanding in Europe, the Middle East and North America, and would launch a new flagship online store in the autumn. It is also launching Boutique, a slightly cheaper range aimed at younger customers, in the autumn. (Reporting by Mark Potter; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=.6988 Pound)
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