British luxury brand Burberry has reported a better-than-expected 3 percent rise in comparable retail sales in its third quarter, helped by an ''exceptional'' performance in the UK where trading was up by about 40 percent. As Ivor Bennett reports, the fall in sterling was a key factor.
It's not often a retailer is able to describe its performance as "exceptional". But it's perhaps fair comment when third quarter trading in your home market increased by 40 percent. Burberry has benefitted from a Brexit-hit pound, sending its shares up 24 percent in six months. The weaker currency meaning bargains for foreign shoppers in the run up to Christmas. And that's not all. SOUNDBITE (English) SIMON FRENCH, CHIEF ECONOMIST, PANMURE GORDON, SAYING: "Burberry and a lot of the high-value fashion retailers listed in London, have a lot of non-sterling revenues that are, quite simply, more valuable when they're reported in sterling. So it was a big part of the Burberry story and I expect that to be replicated." The number of domestic customers also rose, as did sales in Hong Kong and mainland China. Overall, third quarter sales were up 3 percent. It's all good timing for the new chief executive Marco Gobbetti who starts work next week. The current CEO Christopher Bailey will carry on as chief creative director. Whether they'll be fighting off any more approaches this year isn't known. U.S. rival Coach reportedly made one last year.