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Burberry To Invest In Larger Stores As Profit Surges

05/23/2012 | 03:45am US/Eastern

Burberry Group PLC (>> Burberry Group plc) said Wednesday it will invest in opening larger-format stores across its markets to drive further growth, as the luxury clothing and handbag retailer reported a big jump in full-year profit, again boosted by surging demand in Asia.

"We have completed another successful year," said Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts. "While we remain vigilant about the external environment, we will continue... to drive sustained, profitable growth and enduring customer engagement over the long term."

Burberry said it plans a 12% to 14% increase in retail selling space in fiscal 2013, with a focus on larger stores. It added that capital expenditure will be GBP180 million to GBP200 million in the coming year.

The company, famed for its trench coats and plaid-patterned accessories, posted net profit of GBP263.3 million for the year to March 31, compared with GBP208.4 million a year earlier, on revenue 24% higher at GBP1.86 billion at constant exchange rates.

Adjusted pretax profit--the measure of performance watched by analysts--stood at GBP376 million, up from GBP297.9 million, and in line with analyst expectations of about GBP375 million. Burberry raised its dividend 25% to 25 pence.

Burberry has been at the forefront of the worldwide surge in demand for luxury goods in recent years, bolstered by massive sales increases in China, even as many mid-market retailers have struggled for survival amid torrid economic conditions and low consumer confidence.

Luxury retailers have appeared immune to the worldwide economic downturn and Burberry's shares have soared from a low of 154.75 pence in November 2008 to close Tuesday at 1,386 pence, mirroring the fortunes of peers including Prada SpA (1913.HK) and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (>> LVMH).

-By Peter Evans, Dow Jones Newswires; 44-20-7842-9308;

Stocks mentioned in the article : Burberry Group plc, Burberry Group plc, LVMH
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