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Burberry Sales Rise, Hints at Asian Slowdown

07/11/2012 | 02:42am US/Eastern
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By Peter Evans

LONDON--U.K. luxury retailer Burberry Group PLC (>> Burberry Group plc) Wednesday reported a rise in first-quarter revenue, boosted by its men's tailoring division, although sales growth slowed significantly in the face of challenging conditions.

"With continued brand momentum, Burberry has delivered a robust first quarter," Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts said in a statement. "We continue... to drive long-term sustainable growth, while remaining responsive to the changing external environment."

Burberry, famed for its trench coats and plaid-patterned accessories, posted revenue of 408 million pounds ($633 million) for the three months to June 30, up 11% at constant currencies on the same period last year and broadly in line with market expectations.

However, sales growth slowed from 34% in the same period last year, notably in the Asia-Pacific region, where growth dropped to 18% from 67%.

Luxury retailers have appeared immune to the worldwide economic downturn in recent years, with sales driven by gains in emerging markets and from tourists buying luxury goods in Europe. Burberry's share price has rocketed since 2008, when the global recession began, mirroring the performances of peers including Prada SpA (1913.HK) and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (>> LVMH).

But some analysts have questioned the sustainability of the luxury bubble, especially in Asia, where recent data from China has hinted at an economic slowdown.

Burberry's shares closed Tuesday at 1284 pence, giving it a market value of GBP5.64 billion.

Write to Peter Evans at peter.evans@dowjones.com

Stocks mentioned in the article : Burberry Group plc, LVMH
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