Britain’s Burberry said it sold more coats and handbags in the past financial year and saw annual profit rise by 3.6%. But shares of the luxury goods group fell as some analysts were expecting better and also expressed concerns about the cost of a new sales support computer system and the impact of the weaker Japanese yen on licensing revenues.
Group sales continued a steady rise; at 1.25 billion euros they were up 15% on the previous year. The company said sales performance was particularly robust in Southeast Asia and generally strong for the year in Europe except for Spain. It is 150 years since Burberry was founded and sales were boosted by brisk demand for its special anniversary products including handbags costing 1,600 euros each.
But one expense during the year was the shutting down of the company’s factory at Treorchy in South Wales. That controversial closure cost 9.6 million euros in pay offs to the 300 workers. For the year ahead, Burberry said it plans to open 20 more shops, mostly in the US and Europe, as well as boost sales of accessories and its most expensive clothing line, the Prorsum collection.