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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May, 2003, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Burberry fashions 'excellent' results
Fashion group Burberry has reported a rise in profits and said it should meet market forecasts next year despite tough trading conditions.

In its first set of results since it floated on the London stock market, it unveiled pre-tax profits of 109.4m, up from 84.8m the previous year.

Burberry made its debut on the stock market last July after the retail-to-business services group GUS - which remains Burberry's majority shareholder - floated a minority stake in the firm.

The firm has come up against challenging conditions with global demand for luxury goods hit by the economic slowdown, while the war in Iraq and Sars virus have hit the Asian tourist market.

However, the Sars virus has had a limited impact on Burberry as much of its Asian revenue comes from Japan, which has not been hit by the bug.

'Remarkable year'

Underlying retail sales at the group grew by 25% over the year to the end of March, with sales of accessories such as handbags and luggage particularly strong.

"This has been a remarkable year for Burberry," said chairman John Peace.

"We began life as a public company in July 2002 with the successful completion of our IPO [flotation] during very difficult stock market conditions.

"And we have ended the year with an excellent set of financial results, well ahead of market expectations at the time of the IPO."

After allowing for one-off costs relating to its flotation, Burberry's profits were 85.1m.

Burberry said that since March its retail results had been "impacted by external events" and although underlying revenue was still growing, "comparable store performance has been modestly negative".

Despite what it described as "exceptional short-term uncertainty" it said it still expected to meet analysts' expectations for the current financial year.

Burberry shares closed down 15 pence at 251p. The shares floated last year at 230p.

Burberry boosted by Christmas sales
13 Jan 03  |  Business
Burberry checks in strong earnings
19 Nov 02  |  Business

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