Burberry sales up 4% in final quarter of 2016

Burberry
Burberry's festive campaign

Burberry has been boosted by a return to growth in Asia and tourist spend in the UK – thanks to the fall in value of sterling after the Brexit vote – enabling it to deliver 4% growth in retail sales in the final quarter of 2016.

The British luxury house achieved £735m in retail sales during the period, representing 4% underlying growth. Its Asia-Pacific region returned to low single-digit growth while the UK turned in “an exceptional performance” with comparable sales up 40% as tourists flock to London to take advantage of the cheaper prices for luxury goods.

Chief executive and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey said the group also experienced the highest ever engagement for its Christmas marketing campaign, the centrepiece of which was a cinematic film starring Sienna Miller, Lily James, Dominic West and Domhnall Gleeson telling the The Tale of Thomas Burberry, which notched up 22m views.

“With a record number of views of our festive film and strong demand for new products in our collections, this third quarter improvement reflects early progress from our plans to drive Burberry’s performance for the long term. We continue to take action to position the business for growth over time and our plans to enhance efficiency are on track,” Bailey said.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Burberry’s CEO in waiting Marco Gobbetti would join the business earlier than expected at the end of January. However he will act as executive chairman of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East before taking over the CEO element of Bailey’s role on 4 July.

Bailey will move to become president and chief creative officer on that date and both he and Gobbetti will report to Burberry chairman Sir John Peace.