Fashion house Burberry is set to expand its US and Asian operations after posting a rise in retail sales during the six months to 31 March.

Total revenues were up 3% to GBP390m (US$683m) thanks to a strong retail performance from the group, the company said.

Underlying retail sales were up 13%, thanks partly to the acquisition of 12 outlets in Taiwan last August and the retail conversion of women's wear shop-in-shops in Spain in February.

Retail growth accelerated during the fourth quarter to 16%, with new and refurbished stores in the US driving the increase. Strong growth was also shown in the UK and continental Europe.

Wholesale revenues fell 7% on an underlying basis, in line with company expectations, thanks to an adjustment in the brand's wholesale/retail balance in the US and soft demand in Spain.

"Retail operations were the highlight of Burberry's fourth quarter," said chief executive Rose Marie Bravo. "Consumers' favourable response to spring merchandise, particularly women's wear, and an exciting advertising campaign contributed to the strong retail performance."

The company is to increase its net retail selling space by at least 10% in the next year, focusing in particular on the US and Asian markets.

Holding company GUS demerged Burberry Group in December 2005, transferring its 65% stake in the company to Burberry shareholders.