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Burberry's first half profits beat expectations

Burberry’s adjusted pre-tax profit was flat at £153m and up 3% on a constant currency basis for the six months to September 30, beating analysts’ expectations. 

The luxury British brand’s adjusted retail and wholesale profit was up 5% underlying, but its licensing profit fell 13% due to the decision to end its Japanese licences in 2015, five years earlier than originally planned.

Revenue was flat at £1.1bn. Burberry said comparable sales since the start of the third quarter have improved compared to the second quarter.

Its reported pre-tax profit rose 9% to £155m.

It is downsizing its Pacific Place store in Hong Kong from two floors to one, in response to the slowdown in its Asian business.

Burberry’s celebrity-studded Christmas campaign, launched on November 4, racked up 11 million views across social platforms within the first 48 hours.

Also last week, Burberry unveiled plans to invest £50m in a new manufacturing and weaving factory in South Bank, Leeds, to make its iconic trench coats.

Christopher Bailey, chief creative and executive officer, said: “This robust performance reflects decisive action as the external environment became more challenging in key markets over the period. We enter the second half mindful of this backdrop, but confident in our strongest-ever festive plans and emphasis on productivity and efficiency.

“Beyond these immediate priorities, we remain focused on building Burberry for long-term, sustainable growth and value creation. In an evolving luxury environment, we see compelling opportunities by channel, region and product, underpinned by the strength and distinctiveness of our authentic British brand.”

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