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Burberry preaches caution for 2015 despite profit rise

Burberry’s underlying pre-tax profit rose 7% to £456m during the year to March 31, but the British heritage brand warned of increasing uncertainty in some of its markets.

Underlying revenue rose 11% to £2.5bn. Retail sales were up 14% and like-for-like sales rose 9%.

However, the business said it had suffered a “significant impact” from exchange rates, reducing reported revenue by £72m and adjusted profit before tax by £38m.

Chief creative and executive officer Christopher Bailey said: “At this early stage of the year we are seeing increased uncertainty in some markets. Against this background, we will continue to manage our business dynamically – capitalising on the significant opportunities we have by channel, region and product to create long-term shareholder value.”

Burberry said there was strong customer demand for trench coats, cashmere scarves and ponchos, with sales of outerwear and soft accessories growing by nearly 20% in the year.

Sales of menswear, which the brand said was “an under-represented category” for Burberry, increased by 10% underlying during the period.

Bailey added: “Against a challenging external backdrop, our global team has focused ever more intensely on our core, including celebrating the British-made products that are our brand signature and extending our online and offline integration.”

During the year, Burberry opened 16 stores and closed 17, bringing its total to 214 globally.

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