Sales recovery provides relief for Burberry

Kasmira Jefford
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SHARES in Burberry surged yesterday as the luxury fashion house reported it had seen sales recover in recent weeks, while it blamed a slowdown in UK and China sales on the continued squeeze on middle class shoppers.

Burberry finance chief Stacey Cartwright said while wealthy shoppers continued to spend, the “aspirational luxury consumer” – or those who will spend on the mid-range luxury lines – had been hit by a faltering global economy.

The group sold a higher proportion of goods from its most expensive Prorsum and London lines in the second quarter as well as more products at full price. But sales of its more affordable line “Brit” slumped.

Total revenue, including wholesale and licensing sales, rose eight per cent to £883m in the first half.

Cartwright added that trading had suffered during the London Olympics as shoppers stayed away.

Burberry stunned the luxury industry last month after issuing a profit warning that wiped £1bn off its stock market value. The group warned of a slowdown in spending – particularly in China, which has been the driving force of a near three-year boom in demand for luxury goods.

Shares in the brand rose 13.2 per cent yesterday after trading picked up in September, helping to lift like-for-like sales up one per cent in the second quarter to 30 September.

While a marked slowdown from the six per cent growth seen in the first quarter, the performance beat forecasts.