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LONDON — Revenues at Burberry for the third quarter ended Dec. 31 rose 22.6 percent to 206 million pounds, or $394.6 million, on the back of strong retail sales of outerwear and luxury accessories, as well as an updated sales and delivery schedule.
The figures compare with sales of 168 million pounds, or $293.9 million, in the corresponding period a year ago. (Currency conversions were made at average exchange rates for the respective periods.)
Chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright said Tuesday it was the best quarter Burberry has had since it was listed on the London Stock Exchange five years ago. Analysts gave the numbers a thumbs-up, with Seymour Pierce calling them "excellent" and HSBC saying they were a positive surprise and higher than the bank's expectations.
Sales rose across all geographic regions and channels in the period. Cartwright added that the increases would have been even bigger had it not been for currency fluctuations and, in particular, the weak U.S. dollar.
In a statement Tuesday, Burberry also revealed plans to expand its home in London. It will leave its Haymarket headquarters near Piccadilly, which is made up of a number of separate spaces, and transfer to one large office site in Westminster, near the Thames. All global operations, including design studio and showrooms, will be consolidated under one roof there by late 2008.
Cartwright said an updated selling model, introduced by Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts, was a big growth driver in the period. Burberry has increased its annual market sales periods to five from two. There is now a September market, with deliveries scheduled for February, and a March gift market.
"It's about getting newness and freshness into the stores year-round," said Cartwright in a telephone interview. "We want to keep the design and innovations flourishing throughout the year. Our customers always want new stimulation."
Cartwright added that Project Atlas, Burberry's ongoing information technology and operational overhaul program, is enabling the firm to deliver merchandise and replenish stock more frequently.
In the third quarter, retail sales rose 24.3 percent to 143 million pounds, or $273.9 million, from 115 million pounds, or $201.1 million, in the Christmas holiday quarter.