By  on November 16, 2010

LONDON — First-half profits at Burberry Group plc rose 46.3 percent to 83.1 million pounds, or $126.3 million, from 56.8 million pounds, or $86.3 million, on the back of a 21.6 percent increase in revenue in the six months ended Sept. 30.

All figures have been calculated at average exchange rates for the period. Burberry’s figures have been adjusted, and do not include the Spanish business, which is being restructured.

In a joint telephone interview on Tuesday, chief executive officer Angela Ahrendts and chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright were upbeat about the next six months — despite stronger comparative figures in the second half.

“The luxury sector is back,” she said. “If you look at China, India, Brazil — and even Europe — we are seeing growth.”

She added that Burberry was preparing for the introduction of a global e-commerce platform that will launch over the next few months, along with another digital initiative, Burberry Bespoke, which will allow customers to customize their own trenchcoats online.

As reported last month, double-digit growth in regions such as Asia-Pacific and the Americas drove the 21.6 percent rise in sales. Revenues in Asia-Pacific grew 50 percent, while those in the Americas grew 14 percent. Sales in Europe grew 9 percent, with the U.K., Italy, and France among the strongest markets.

Sales of aviator jackets, shearling boots and sling bags drove revenues and margins up, the company said.

In the second half, Burberry said average selling space is expected to increase by about 25 percent, and 15 percent of that new space will be in China, with flagships set to open in Beijing and Hong Kong.

Wholesale revenue, excluding China, is set to increase by around 10 percent at constant currency, led by emerging markets and travel retail. Wholesale revenue including China, where the brand has repurchased its retail operations, is expected to be down by a low-single-digit percentage at constant currency.

First-half revenue at Burberry Group plc rose 21.6 percent to 641 million pounds, or $974.3 million, from 527 million pounds, or $801 million, on the back of sales in the company’s core categories of outerwear and leather goods.

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