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Burberry sales growth hit by China slowdown

[LONDON] Britain's Burberry missed forecasts for first-half sales growth and highlighted an increasingly challenging environment for luxury sales, hit particularly by greater caution amongst Chinese customers.

The 159-year-old firm, famous for its British-made trench coats and cashmere scarves, said on Thursday retail revenue rose 2 per cent to 774 million pounds (US$1.20 billion) in the six months to Sept 30.

That compared to first quarter growth of 8 per cent and was below analysts' average forecast of 818 million pounds.

First half comparable store sales growth was 1 per cent versus analysts' consensus of 5 per cent and growth of 6 per cent in the first quarter.

The firm saw a mid single-digit percentage decline in comparable store sales in the Asia Pacific region, which includes Hong Kong and China.

Burberry said it expected 2015-16 adjusted pretax profit to be broadly in line with the average of those analysts who have recently updated forecasts, which is 445 million pounds.