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Burberry focuses on flagships as profits leap

Luxury brand and retailer Burberry is to focus on high-profile flagship store openings and refurbishments after reporting a surge in profits.

Chicago, Hong Kong and London are among the key locations targeted for investment.

Burberry made an adjusted pre-tax profit of £298m in the year to March 31, a rise of 39%. Sales advanced 27% to £1.5bn.

Sales at Burberry’s retail division, which account for almost two thirds of the total, climbed by 36% to £962.3m, contributing to a combined adjusted operating profit from retail and wholesale of £219.5m – a 59% increase. Like-for-likes improved 11% over the year.

It’s wholesale revenues grew by 17% to £440.6m for the year, accounting for 29% of overall sales. Burberry said its wholesale growth was helped by improved supply chain and logistics capabilities which enabled the brand to satisfy higher in-season orders. Menswear was a strong performer with spring 11 the first collection to be designed entirely in house.

Sales of goods other than apparel rose 35% and now represent 40% of revenues.

The company said there had been particular growth in outerwear, menswear and its Burberry Prorsum and London lines.

Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: “Burberry delivered strong operational and financial progress during the year, thanks to the consistent execution of our core strategies by our team and partners, more closely connecting our brand vision and values to consumers around the world.

“While mindful of global macro challenges in the current year, we will continue to invest to drive growth across our portfolio by channel, region and product.”

In the current year, Burberry intends a space increase of between 12% and 13%, including a net 20 to 25 mainline stores. Openings will be biased towards China, Latin America and the Middle East.

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