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Burberry profits rise as it connects with consumers online

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Luxury goods retailer Burberry says online initiatives including a “fully immersive brand experience” have helped drive its sales growth in a year that saw its revenues grow by 27% and pretax profit by 39%.

Revenue at the company, known for its clothing and handbags, rose to £1.5bn in the year to March 31 from £1.2bn at the same time last year, while pre-tax profits rose to £295.7m from £211.4m. The company’s “brand awareness, reach and sales growth,” said the company, releasing its full-year results this week, were driven by “Burberry’s marketing strategies and use of digital media to connect with consumers.”

In social media alone, Burberry connects with more than six million consumers through Facebook. In addition, “retail theatre” including iPads, touch screens and large screens inside and outside stores was installed in selected stores during the year, allowing a runway show in February streamed to customer events in nearly 40 stores.

Key to its “fully immersive brand experience” was a new global digital platform at Burberry World, which began to be rolled out during the fourth quarter of the year.

Beyond digital, other factors behind the growth included expansion of the number of stores, with 26 new mainline stores opened globally, in countries including Brazil, Mexico and India, believed to have strong potential.

Strong growth came in outerwear sales, up by 30%, while non-apparel sales, such as leather goods and accessories, grew by 35% to contribute 40% of retail and wholesale sales.

Angela Ahrendts, chief executive officer, said: “Burberry delivered strong operational and financial progress during the year, thanks to the consistent execution of our core strategies by our team and partners, more closely connecting our brand vision and values to consumers around the world.

“While mindful of global macro challenges in the current year, we will continue to invest to drive growth across our portfolio by channel, region and product.”

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