Burberry shares lift the FTSE as luxury sales beat forecasts

Kasmira Jefford
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BURBERRY was the second highest riser on the FTSE yesterday after the luxury retailer revealed better-than-expected sales, driven by Asia Pacific and demand ahead of Chinese New Year.

Shares closed 4.7 per cent higher as the 158 year-old firm posted a 14 per cent rise in sales to £528m and a 12 per cent increase in like-for-like sales.

Asia Pacific delivered double-digit sales led by strong growth in mainland China and Hong Kong, which helped ease worries of a slowdown in demand for luxury goods in the region.

But finance chief Carol Fairweather said sales were boosted by consumers buying presents ahead of a slightly earlier Chinese New Year rather than any improvement in the market.

She said the number of shoppers visiting Burberry’s stores had been “weak” but digital sales “outperformed” as orders made online or using iPads in the retailer’s stores doubled year-on-year.

However, the group also warned yesterday that the strengthening of sterling “may cause headwinds in second half” and that the macro environment remained uncertain.

Deutsche Bank analyst Warwick Okines said: “Given investor concern about luxury trends, this is a reassuring statement which confirms good brand momentum for Burberry.”