Burberry on track to open new stores

BURBERRY is stepping up its expansion plans after a surge in profits.

The fashion house – famous for its check designs – said yesterday it will open between 20 and 30 stores this year as it posted pre-tax profits of £215m for the 12 months to the end of March.

That was up 23 per cent on the previous year. Total sales rose seven per cent to £1.28bn. The company said it would almost double capital spending to £130m in its 2010-11 financial year, despite an uncertain economic outlook.

Chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright said: “We do believe that Burberry, distinct from what’s happening in the marketplace, has got specific momentum in the brand right now.”

Recent best-sellers include tote bags from this collection, while shoes, menswear accessories and traditional trench coats have also proved popular.

The label’s expansion will focus on emerging markets, primarily Brazil, Mexico and India.

It is also planning a crackdown on traders who copy the company’s upmarket designs.

Despite the strong figures, it remained cautious about the prospects for the luxury goods market, and said it had achieved the results by poaching sales from its rivals.

Burberry said a previously announced restructuring of its Spanish business would lead to a trading loss of about £10m in 2010-11, while brand investments would reduce profits by £5-10m and it would also incur around £5m of start-up losses in countries such as Brazil, Mexico and India.