Burberry sales flat but strong performance from fragrances

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Sales at UK accessories and fragrances group Burberry were flat
during the second half, the firm said today, but it forecast
full-year profit growth of at least 15 per cent.

The firm, which sells its products through its own stores and other retailers, said total sales in the first six months of the year rose 2 per cent to £368 million ($696.57m).

Licensing of the brand is driving sales growth at Burberry​, with revenue from this area up 8 per cent to £39 million, helped by strong performances from its fragrances, said the company.

Last week it won three awards at the Annual Fragrance Foundation in New York.

However in other areas sales were weak. Retail sales were driven mostly by new stores, with average net selling space up by 8 per cent on the prior year. The wholesale division, accounting for around half its turnover, reported 5 per cent growth after stripping out the currency impact, thanks to the Asian and Continental markets.

The company warned that in the first half of the current financial year wholesale sales will be "broadly flat relative to the previous year." It also forecast that licensing revenues would grow more moderately in 2005-6 than in the second half of 2004-5.

However it plans to increase its average net selling space by eight per cent in the coming year through the addition of stores and concessions, predominantly in the United States.

"Burberry continued to manage for the bottom line, delivering a solid result for the half,"​ said Rose Marie Bravo, chief executive.

"This will allow the group to achieve earnings before ebita ahead of expectations for the 2004-05 financial year."

It has forecast a pre-tax profit of at least £162m ($307m) for the full year compared with £141.2m last year.

Burberry is due to release its full-year earnings on May 24.

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