Outerwear powers Burberry annual profit gain

AP News
Posted: May 23, 2012 7:10 AM
Outerwear powers Burberry annual profit gain

Luxury goods maker Burberry Group PLC said Wednesday that sales of its signature trench coats and other outdoor wear led a 26 percent gain in full-year profit.

Burberry reported that net profit for the year ending March 31 was 263.3 million pounds ($415 million), up from 208.4 million pounds a year earlier but still just short of analyst expectations for 275 million pounds. Revenue rose 24 percent to 1.86 billion pounds, and the company raised its dividend by 25 percent to 25 pence.

Burberry reported double-digit sales gains in all regions. Asia-Pacific is its best-performing region, generating 37 percent of combined wholesale and retail revenue. Outerwear and leather goods accounted for about half of all sales, the company said.

Burberry shares were down 3.1 percent at 1,343 pence in early trading in London.

"A combination of profit taking after the recent rally, a weak broader market and results which were slightly shy of expectations has driven the price sharply lower in early trade," said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.

"Yet the numbers themselves are robust."

Burberry said it plans to invest at least 180 million pounds this year in new or remodeled stores, including Regent Street in London, Pacific Place in Hong Kong and a rebuilt store in Chicago.

During the past year, the company opened its first larger format stores in Hong Kong, Paris and Taipei.