Burberry holds off the rain with 30% revenue rise

If there had been any doubts about the brand's ability to survive a downturn, this will dispel them. Let's hope this run of luck keeps going.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012
If Katie Price’s decision to kit her daughter, the elegantly named Princess Tiaamii, out in its distinctive check wasn’t enough to topple Burberry back in 2009, then troubled financial markets in Asia sure as hell weren’t going to have much of an effect on it. Thus, the iconic British label has just announced revenues for the six months to September 30 of £830m – a double-dip defying 30% higher than during the same period last year, which breezed past analysts’ expectations of £816m. Which should put right any concerns that the squeeze on Chinese spending was having an impact on the brand…

To be fair, fears over consumer spending in Asia has already had an unpleasant effect on Burberry’s share price: since their £16.10 peak in July, prices have fallen by more than 20%. Although they’ve already climbed by 2% this morning – and no wonder: retail revenues for the six months to September rose by 45%, to £528m; while wholesale revenues rose by 9% to £248m. In fact, so swimmingly have things been going that Burberry has decided to open 10 new stores during its second half, as far afield as China, Latin America and, er, France.

What’s interesting is that Burberry’s chief financial officer, Stacey Cartwright, reckons much of the brand’s success is to do with travelling luxury consumers. The majority of our revenues now come from the travelling luxury consumer in our big luxury markets,’ she said today. ‘Our flagship markets in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Dubai have all benefited from [it].’ So when people are at home, they may tightening their belts – but when they’re on holiday, they’re happy to splurge.

With any luck, these figures will be enough to dispel any of those lingering doubts about Burberry’s ability to perform during the bad times. If the last downturn is anything to go by, the brand shouldn’t have any problems persuading consumers to part with vast amounts of cash – and these figures are enough to suggest that even the European debt crisis won’t be enough to make an impact on the quest for a decent mac.

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