Decline in luxury spending spells trouble for Burberry's bottom line

Burberry's Autumn/Winter 2020 fashion week runway show in London. Feb. 17, 2020.
Burberry's Autumn/Winter 2020 fashion week runway show in London. Feb. 17, 2020. Copyright Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP
Copyright Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP
By Eleanor Butler
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The British fashion brand announces plummeting profits, with particularly poor sales reported in China.


Burberry has recorded a 40% slide in its pre-tax profits for the financial year ending on 30 March to £383 million (€446.50 million), down from £634 million (€739.04 million) a year earlier.

Revenues were down by 4% to £2.97 billion, compared to last year’s £3.09 billion.

In a statement, Burberry's CEO Jonathan Akeroyd said: "Executing our plan against a backdrop of slowing luxury demand has been challenging."

Burberry is just one of several firms hit by a decline in demand for luxury products as a post-pandemic splurge comes to an end.

Gucci-owner Kering recently sounded the alarm over subdued sales, although LVMH and Hermès have emerged relatively unscathed.

Burberry's comparable store sales in its key Asia Pacific region were up 3% on the year but down 17% in its financial fourth quarter.

This was driven by a 19% sales dip in mainland China in the fourth quarter, although Japan reported an 18% rise in this period, boosted by tourist spending.

Across the year, sales for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa were up 4%.

Sales in the Americas dipped 12%.

CEO Akeroyd said that while the financial results underperformed original expectations, Burberry has made "good progress refocusing our brand image, evolving our product and strengthening distribution while delivering operational improvements".

"We are using what we have learned over the past year to finetune our approach, while adapting to the external environment. We remain confident in our strategy to realise Burberry’s potential as the modern British luxury brand and in our ability to successfully navigate this period," he added.

As of around 12h15 CET, Burberry’s share price was down slightly more than 4% in daily trading.

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