Burberry’s First Half Up 46%

London–Burberry today booked a 46% hike in first-half pre-tax profit, helped by strong growth of its apparel and leather bags in Asia.

Net profit climbed to 83.1 million pounds (about $133.1 million) in the six months to September 30, with underlying revenues–which remove the impact of currency shifts–up 18% to 673 million pounds. Same-store sales rose 9%.

Revenue highlights included a 26% rise in non-apparel to 40% of sales, led by large leather goods; and a 13% rise in apparel sales driven by its core outerwear lines like the iconic raincoat. Sales in emerging markets surged 46%.The company added that adjusted retail/wholesale operating margin rose to 14.8% from 10.7% a year earlier.

“The Burberry team delivered a strong first half,” said Angela Ahrendts, ceo. “The continued focus on the brand, ongoing investment in our digital, IT and retail infrastructure, especially in China, and a disciplined approach to driving growth underpin our confidence in delivering long-term sustainable returns.”

The company opened 20 stores in the first half and said it plans to open another 10 stores in the last six months of the year, with half of these in China.

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