Fashion group Burberry on Monday posted an 18 per cent year-on-year jump in first quarter revenues as consumers' confidence was boosted by the end of the Iraq war and reduced threat of the deadly SARS virus.

The company said total retail sales increased 33 per cent, boosted by the acquisition of the operations of a distributor in South Korea, and added same-store sales for the quarter edged up slightly.

On an underlying basis, retail sales increased by 21 per cent, driven primarily by contributions from stores opened in 2002/2003, Burberry said.

The US remained the firm's best performing market and while Europe continued to be "soft", non-Japan Asia markets "exhibited signs of recovery". It also remains on schedule to increase retail-selling space by approximately 10 per cent during the financial year.

Commenting on the trading results, chief executive Rose Marie Bravo, said: "Following the very challenging start to the year due to external factors, Burberry achieved gradual improvement in trading as the quarter progressed.

"During the period, we continued to invest in our business through retail expansion, product development efforts and the upgrading of infrastructure in keeping with our long-range strategies.

"Burberry's results to date and the improving operating environment are consistent with management's expectations for the financial year," she added.