Chinese tourists boost Burberry sales

Rising ranks of Chinese tourists helped luxury brand Burberry achieve modest first-quarter sales growth despite soft demand in other regions.

Burberry sales in Mainland China grew “and Hong Kong, Korea and Japan all benefited from Chinese spend shifting more to Asian tourist destinations within the region”. Precise sales data was not released by region, but globally, Burberry sales rose 3 per cent on a comparable basis. The company said only that Asian sales rose “in the mid-single digits”.

While Asia and the US performed strongly, Burberry said sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa declined by a low single-digit percentage due to softer tourist demand in the UK, Continental Europe and Middle East. Total retail revenue was flat at £479 million.

“We are pleased with our progress in the quarter,” said CEO Marco Gobbetti. “The team has embraced (incoming creative head) Riccardo Tisci’s vision and is working well together as we prepare for his debut collection in September, the next step in our journey.  While we know it will take time to achieve our ambitions, our progress to-date and the energy in and around the company give me confidence for the future.”

Highlights for the quarter included opening pop-up stores showcasing new handbags in Beijing, Seoul, Dubai and New York, and a collaboration with Farfetch which is outperforming expectations.

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