Demand for Burberry is still booming

LUXURY goods group Burberry batted away fears of an economic slowdown in its key Chinese market yesterday as it unveiled forecast-beating results.

Revenues for the three months to September hit £463m – above a forecast for £448m by a poll of analysts.

Luxury goods stocks have fallen sharply in recent weeks on signs of an economic slowdown in China -- the engine of recent strong growth in demand for luxury goods -- and fears the Eurozone debt crisis could tip the world back into recession.

But Burberry, whose shares were also given a boost after the launch of its collection at London Fashion Week last month, has bucked the trend.

“There is no evidence of any slowdown... What we have seen is consistent strong brand momentum and business growth,” Burberry finance director Stacey Cartwright said.

Comparable store sales growth accelerated to 16 per cent in the second quarter from 15 per cent in the first, with sales in China steady at around 30 per cent.

Burberry said the first-half operating margin in its retail and wholesale businesses would be broadly flat, compared with a previous forecast for a small decline.

Demand was driven by new store openings and by tourists from around the world, including China, Brazil and Russia, Cartwright said.

She added that she did not expect any change in analysts’ consensus full-year profit forecast of £370m.