Burberry profits surge on emerging markets demand
British luxury goods company Burberry said on Thursday that annual net profits more than doubled to £208 million on soaring demand in emerging markets for its clothing and accessories.
Profit after tax grew to £208.4 million (240 million euros, $340 million) in the year to the end of March from £81.4 million in 2009/10, Burberry announced in an earnings statement.
Burberry, famous for its red, camel and black check pattern, added that revenues rallied 27 percent to £1.5 billion, boosted by a 35-percent jump in sales of non-apparel goods, such as leather handbags, jewellery and shoes.
Emerging markets such as China, India, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and Turkey accounted for 16 percent of retail and wholesale revenues. That compared with 11 percent in the previous fiscal year.
"Burberry delivered strong operational and financial progress during the year, thanks to the consistent execution of our core strategies by our team and partners, more closely connecting our brand vision and values to consumers around the world," group chief executive Angela Ahrendts said in the statement.
"While mindful of global macro challenges in the current year, we will continue to invest to drive growth."
Burberry added that annual pre-tax profits leapt 39 percent to £297.9 million -- close to analyst expectations of £295 million in a poll by Dow Jones Newswires.
Over the past year, Burberry has ramped up its presence on the high street and extended its ownership of franchise stores -- particularly in China.
Last July, Burberry added 50 Chinese franchise stores to its retail business at a cost of £70 million. As a result, the group now owns and controls its entire store portfolio in the Asian powerhouse nation.
"Burberry continued to enter new markets, such as Armenia, Egypt, Israel and Mongolia via franchise agreements, while taking more established businesses, such as China, under direct control," it added on Thursday.
The company has 174 retail stores, 199 concessions in department stores and 44 outlet branches dotted around the world.
© 2011 AFP