LONDON, April 17 British luxury group Burberry
posted a 10 percent rise in fourth quarter revenue as
strong demand for its more expensive products in China helped it
beat sales forecasts for the second half of the year.
The seller of raincoats and leather goods, known for its
camel, red and black check pattern, said on Wednesday fourth
quarter group sales rose to 503 million pounds ($769 million),
building on better than expected third quarter results after a
strong Christmas period.
That took revenue for the six months to March 31 to 1.116
billion pounds, ahead of a company-compiled average analyst
forecast of 1.098 billion pounds.
Last September, Burberry shook the global luxury industry by
warning of a spending slowdown, particularly in China - the
driving force behind demand in recent years - but it has been
more upbeat recently, highlighting a rebound in Chinese demand
while posting third quarter sales in January.
Retail sales, which make up 75 percent of group revenue,
grew 14 percent to 376 million pounds in its fourth quarter,
Burberry said, as higher average spend helped offset lower
numbers of shoppers.
Comparable store sales increased by 7 percent, including
double-digit rises in China and Hong Kong. It said it expected
net new openings to deliver low to mid single digit increase in
retail revenue in its 2013/14 year.
Second-half wholesale revenue - or sales through
non-Burberry stores - fell 3 percent, as expected, due to
smaller firms struggling in weak European markets where tourist
spending has also shown signs of slowing. Excluding its beauty
division, Burberry said it expects underlying wholesale revenue
to decrease by about 10 percent in the six months to Sept. 30,
Earlier this month, over half of 23 brands surveyed by
Reuters at stores in London, Paris and Milan - including Gucci,
Hermes and Jimmy Choo - reported lower demand from tourists,
notably from Asia.
This week the owner of luxury brand Louis Vuitton LVMH
posted the lowest quarterly sales growth since 2009 at
its fashion and leather division, while Italian fashion house
Prada SpA has outlined plans to expand in the Middle
East and the Americas to help offset lower spending in Europe.
Shares in Burberry, whose spring/summer campaign is being
modelled by Briton Cara Delevingne and David Beckham's son,
Romeo, closed at 1,266 pence on Tuesday, down 8 percent on three
months ago, valuing the business at around 5.6 billion pounds.