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Burberry profit head of forecasts

Burberry said sales had steadied in the final weeks of its second quarter

Gulf News

London: British luxury goods group Burberry beat forecasts with a 6 per cent rise in first-half profit as its most wealthy shoppers continued to spend despite a faltering global economy.

The group, best known for its camel, red and black check pattern, said on Wednesday it made a profit before tax and one off items of £173 million (Dh1.03 billion, $276 million) in the six months to September 30.

That compared to analyst forecasts of £157-172 million, with a consensus of £167 million, according to a company poll, and £162 million in the same period last year.

Last month Burberry said sales had steadied in the final weeks of its second quarter, reassuring investors rattled by a shock profit warning in September.

Total first-half revenue was £883 million, up 8 per cent at constant exchange rates, with first quarter growth of 11 per cent slowing to 5 per cent in the second.

Burberry said guidance for the second half was unchanged from that issued in October.

However, the firm said the decision to directly operate fragrance and beauty as a fifth product division from April 1 would be broadly neutral to underlying profit in 2013/14 and earnings accretive thereafter.

Shares in the firm, down 16 per cent over the last six months, closed on Tuesday at 1,240 pence, valuing the business at £5.48 billion.