Burberry's new designer underpins sales before looks arrive

[PARIS] Burberry Group said its revamp under a new designer is on track, with consumer attention on his new looks bolstering sales in the latest six months.

Half-year retail sales grew 3 per cent on a comparable basis, in line with company-compiled estimates. Profit was slightly above expectations.

Most products from designer Riccardo Tisci's first collection won't reach stores until February. But his arrival has already put Burberry in the spotlight as he changed its logo, styled ad campaigns and staged a hotly anticipated show during London Fashion Week.

While retail sales were in line with expectations and the company maintained its full-year guidance, Burberry is still growing more slowly than French rivals like LVMH and Gucci owner Kering, which are expanding by double-digit per centages amid surging Chinese demand.

Tisci has teased customers with limited-edition "drops" - selling high-priced hoodies in flash sales over Instagram and China's Weibo. The company cited "social selling innovation" as a way to generate buzz.

The shares rose as much as 2.3 per cent in early London trading. Through Thursday they were little changed this year as investors waited to see whether Tisci and chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti will succeed in revamping Burberry as a top luxury brand.


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