LONDON — Burberry Group plc finished the 2010-11 fiscal year on a high note, with second-half revenues up 31 percent to 860 million pounds, or $1.37 billion, from 657 million pounds, or $1.1 billion, boosted by retail sales in China and a steady rhythm of deliveries worldwide.
Chief executive officer Angela Ahrendts said Tuesday she is expecting adjusted profit before tax for the year to be at the top end of market expectations.
Fourth-quarter sales grew 32.2 percent to 390 million pounds, or $624 million, from 295 million pounds, or $472 million.
All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for their respective periods ended March 31, and exclude the results from Burberry’s discontinued, local business in Spain.
Stacey Cartwright, chief financial officer, said that both the Prorsum and London collections performed particularly well, as did scarves and shoes.
She added that a monthly flow of goods and replenished stock onto shop floors was also a big driver behind sales in the half. “The global synchronization of deliveries — tied in with updates on the Burberry Web site — is helping drive newness and freshness on the shop floor,” she said.
Cartwright added that Burberry’s London units continue to get a big bump from foreign tourists. She confirmed that some days, Chinese tourists alone can generate up to 30 percent of revenue in the London units. She said Russian, Indian and Brazilian tourists are also fueling sales in London.
The only decline in the half was in the licensing division, which the company had anticipated. Licensing revenue — two-thirds of which comes from Japan — fell 5.6 percent to 50 million pounds, or $80 million, from 53 million pounds, or $85 million, in line with guidance.
Burberry said growth from global product licenses was offset by the planned termination of both the Japanese leather goods license in 2010 and the final regional men’s wear licenses.
The company added that in the 2011-12 fiscal year, underlying licensing revenue from Japan is expected to be broadly flat year-on-year, while the global fragrance, eyewear and timepiece product licenses are expected to deliver double-digit growth.
Cartwright said the overall financial impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last month was “not hugely material” on the company’s non-apparel joint venture, which operates 14 shop-in-shops and two stores.
With regard to its apparel licenses with Sanyo Shokai Ltd. and Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Cartwright said they are on track to deliver minimum royalties. She said that business in Japan has rebounded since the disasters last month.
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