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Burberry says sales return to pre-COVID level

By AFP - Jul 17,2021 - Last updated at Jul 17,2021

British luxury fashion house Burberry revealed on July 16 that sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels as young customers embraced the brand (AFP photo)

LONDON — British luxury fashion house Burberry, famed for its handbags and trenchcoats, revealed on Friday that sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels as young customers embraced the brand.

Sales rose by one per cent in the group's first quarter or three months to late June, compared with the equivalent period in 2019 before the pandemic erupted, Burberry said in a statement.

First-quarter sales surged by 90 per cent to £479 million ($663 million, 561 million euros), from the same time in 2020 when COVID lockdowns shut stores.

Burberry enjoyed a strong performance in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions, helping to offset deflated sales in Europe as tourists stayed away.

"We have made an excellent start to the new fiscal year," said Chief Executive Marco Gobbetti, who recently announced plans to depart the group.

"Full-price sales accelerated as our collections and campaigns attracted new, younger luxury customers to the brand," he added in the statement.

Investors however gave the earnings update a thumbs down.

Burberry shares lost four per cent to £19.87 in late morning deals on London's FTSE 100 index, which was up by around half-a-per cent overall.

"Burberry has bolted out of the blocks in its new financial year, rising to pre-pandemic sales levels virtually across the board," said Interactive Investor analyst Richard Hunter.

"The virtual disappearance of tourism is having a lingering effect on continental Europe in particular, however, where sales remain down by 38 per cent compared to pre-pandemic."

Gobbetti steps down at the end of 2021 after nearly five years as Burberry's CEO, and is to run the Italian fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo.

No successor has been announced, so far.

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