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Stellar sales and profits at Burberry

Burberry's global sales soared by 18% to £995 million, while operating profit jumped 32% to £157m for the year to March 31.

During the year, Burberry opened a record number of stores, with 20 mainline stores, 49 concessions and 10 franchise shops across the globe.

Retail sales at the luxury group grew by 20%, contributing 49% of total revenue. In the year to March 2009, Burberry expects average retail selling space to increase by between 12% and 13% year-on-year. This will include about 15 store openings.

Burberry's wholesale revenues also increased by 20% during the year. Even though Burberry said it would continue to "move from a traditional wholesale structure to a more dynamic retail mindset", the luxury group expects wholesale revenue in the six months to September to increase by about 10%. Wholesale sales from emerging markets, including China, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia, Brazil and India, increased by more than 50% during the year.

Non-apparel sales, which includes handbags and footwear, rose by 39% to £289.7m, making up 32% of total retail and wholesale sales. Sales of footwear more than doubled in the year. Burberry launched jewellery was launched for spring 08 and luggage is being tested for autumn 08.

Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: "Burberry's 18% revenue growth and 14% profit increase demonstrate the robustness of our global luxury business in these challenging times, with
consistent performance across our regions, channels and products. Brand momentum remains strong and we are investing in the future, continuing to grow and innovate our iconic outerwear, while developing exciting new businesses such as shoes, jewellery and childrenswear."

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