• H2 underlying revenue up 19% to GBP1.30bn (US$2.18bn) 
  • Retail revenue rise 13% to GBP928m 
  • Like-for-like sales increases 12%
Burberry still sees "good opportunity" in China

Burberry still sees "good opportunity" in China

British luxury brand Burberry has re-emphasised the growth opportunities it sees in China, after reporting a double-digit increase in second-half sales today (16 April).

Speaking on a conference call this morning (16 April), CFO Carol Fairweather said: "We see great opportunity for us still in China - both at home in China and when Chinese luxury consumers travels abroad."

The company saw revenue in Asia Pacific grow 19% to GBP516m (US$866.5m) in the six months to 31 March, compared to GBP447m in the same period of last year. Investment, Fairweather added, has enabled Burberry to deliver this "out-performance".

Digital is a "differentiator" for Burberry in the country, as the Chinese luxury consumer tends to be 20 years younger than elsewhere and more digitally savvy.  

"But it's not just about what happens in China, she stressed. "It's about when they travel outside China as well, so making sure we give them that same brand experience - be it when they're shopping at home, when they're shopping abroad, whether they're shopping online or in store."

"Our strategy is unchanged and we still see a good opportunity for us in China."

Burberry said the 13% retail revenue growth was helped by men’s tailoring and accessories, with the Prorsum collection performing strongly in women's wear. 

Although current exchange rates are a "material headwind" in what remains an uncertain environment, she added, Burberry remains optimistic in its outlook.

But the retailer plans to open around 20-25 mainline stores and close between 15-20 in fiscal 2015, with openings biased to flagship markets and travel retail. 

Net new space is expected to contribute low to mid single-digit percentage growth to total retail revenues. 

Conlumino analyst Anusha Couttigane described the retailer's second-half performance as "pleasing", adding: "Burberry is now a well-established, highly respected international brand."