London: Burberry beat profit forecasts on Wednesday as a strategy to re-energise its luxury brand showed early promise ahead of the arrival of its new designer Riccardo Tisci.
The former Givenchy star was appointed in March, replacing Burberry’s creative chief Christopher Bailey, who had turned the trench coat maker into a global brand.
Burberry’s chief executive Marco Gobbetti is repositioning the quintessentially British fashion house in a higher luxury segment and Tisci’s first collection will be shown in September.
“With Riccardo Tisci now on board and a strong leadership team in place, we are excited about the year ahead and remain fully focused on our strategy to deliver long-term sustainable value,” Gobbetti said.
Burberry reported a 2 per cent rise in adjusted operating profit of £467 million (Dh2.31 billion) for the year to end-March. Its shares, which have risen 18 per cent since Tisci was appointed, were trading up 3.5 per cent at 1,867 pence at 0816 GMT.
“While the task of transforming Burberry is still before us, the first steps we implemented to re-energise our brand are showing promising early signs,” Gobbetti added.
The CEO set out a plan in November to catch up with faster growing luxury goods rivals, but he said there would be little, if any, growth in revenue and operating profit until its 2021 financial year as the programme was implemented.
Tisci’s designs will be key to Gobbetti’s strategy to reinvigorate Burberry, where sales have lagged rivals.
The company reported group revenue of £2.73 billion ($3.7 billion), down 1 per cent, although comparable same store sales rose 3 per cent, in line with market forecasts.
Bailey’s final runway show, which had a youthful streetwear focus, had been well received, Chief Financial Officer Julie Brown told reporters, with high demand for an edited capsule range of the collection available immediately.
Burberry’s new Belt Bags, which retail at £1,590, were also proving popular, she said.
Gobbetti wants to increase sales of Burberry’s leather goods, and the company agreed to take over the Italian leather goods supplier that makes the Belt Bag earlier this month.
Burberry said it had traded in line with its guidance since the start of its financial year on April 1.
Analysts were expecting the company to report adjusted operating profit of £453 million, according to a company-provided consensus of 19 analyst forecasts.