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British luxury sales to exceed 51b pounds by 2019: study

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Sales of British luxury goods, from Burberry Group Plc trenchcoats to Rolls Royce Holdings Plc cars, could nearly double to as much as 57 billion pounds (US$88 billion) by 2019, according to a study published Monday.

[LONDON] Sales of British luxury goods, from Burberry Group Plc trenchcoats to Rolls Royce Holdings Plc cars, could nearly double to as much as 57 billion pounds (US$88 billion) by 2019, according to a study published Monday.

The report by Frontier Economics for British luxury trade group Walpole comprises data on designer apparel, footwear, fine wines, spirits, accessories, jewelry, timepieces, high-end beauty, personal care and cars. Sales of these items may reach between 51.1 billion pounds and 57 billion pounds by 2019, compared with about 32.3 billion pounds in 2013, the study shows.

The forecast comes after Burberry reported its weakest sales growth in two years. Luxury demand has slowed in China following a clampdown on graft, and policymakers there last month devalued the yuan by the most in two decades amid signs of decelerating economic growth. Analysts at Sanford C Bernstein see the luxury industry growing about 5 percent a year at constant exchange through 2019.

Foreigners will probably continue to account for much of the demand for British luxury goods as more than three quarters of sales came from overseas markets in 2013, according to Frontier Economics. Companies could attract more sales in the UK if the country had a more progressive visa policy, particularly for visitors from China and the Middle East, the study said. The UK is losing 1.2 billion pounds of revenue annually as a result of the current visa system, Frontier Economics said.

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