Burberry posts rising revenues but shares drop

Kasmira Jefford
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BURBERRY’S shares retreated more than five per cent yesterday despite the luxury clothing brand posting an 18 per cent rise in second half sales, driven by strong sales in Europe and China.

The 156-year-old fashion label posted total sales of £1.027bn for the six months to 31 March, with fourth quarter revenue up 16 per cent to £453m, slightly below analyst forecasts of £457m.

“The group has enjoyed an outperformance at European stores in the last quarter,” finance director Stacey Cartwright told City A.M, highlighting particularly strong growth in flagship markets like Britain and France.

Cartwright said men’s tailoring and accessories had also enjoyed particularly strong growth.

The company said retail sales, which now account for 72 per cent of group sales, rose almost a quarter to £743m while wholesale and licensing sales rose seven per cent and five per cent.

In Asia Pacific, retail and wholesale revenues were up 37 per cent while the US grew by seven per cent. Sales in Europe, where the ongoing debt crisis has overshadowed consumer spending, rose by 11 per cent.

Burberry said it will increase its retail selling space by 12-14 per cent this year, with opening focused on larger stores in flagships and emerging markets.

Investec analyst Bethany Hocking described the fall in share price as “a pause for breath” after reaching a record intra-day high.