LONDON – Burberry Group Plc said fourth-quarter revenues rose 14 percent to 334 million pounds, or $501 million, reflecting the positive impact of a weaker British currency.

Excluding the effects of currency, sales fell 5 percent. Dollar figures have been calculated at average exchange rates for the period.

“We’re one of the only luxury players that reports in sterling and this is our time for benefits from that point of view,” Stacey Cartwright, chief financial officer at Burberry, said in an interview.

In the six months ended March 31, revenues rose 21 percent to 663 million pounds, or $994 million. Stripping out the effects of currency fluctuations, the increase stood at 2 percent.

Burberry’s total retail sales grew 36 percent to 385 million pounds, or $577 million during the half, while excluding currency fluctuations they grew 14 percent.

The company noted that performance in its retail stores was stronger in the fourth quarter than the third, with Korea and the U.K. delivering “exceptional” retail performance during the period.

Same-store retail sales at the company, which exclude revenues from newly opened stores, declined by 0.5 percent in the second half, the company said.

“Burberry made good progress in the second half,” stated Angela Ahrendts, chief executive officer of Burberry.
The company said it expects its profits before tax for the 2008/09 fiscal year
to fall “around the middle of the current range of market expectations.”

Burberry reports its full-year preliminary results May 19.

For complete coverage, see Wednesday’s WWD.

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