Digital commerce sales at Burberry “continued to outperform” in its latest financial year, the luxury retailer said today as it reported fast growth in profits and revenue.
The company said both traffic and revenue to its ecommerce site, burberry.com, had shown double-digit rises in the year to March 31. Its overall retail sales, which include online, were up by 31% and now make up 68% of revenue, with the rest coming from wholesale.
At the same time, revenues rose by 24% to £1.86bn in the year to March 31 from £1.5bn last year, and pre-tax profits also grew by 24% to £366.0m, up from £295.7m last year.
Burberry said today in its end-of-year statement that its digital commerce sales, including via iPads in store, continued to outperform. It credited its use of “innovative marketing” to extend its reach and impact. In social media, the company doubled its Facebook fans to 12m by the end of the year and extended its presence on key Chinese social media platforms. It also launched initiatives such as Tweetwalk.
Today Burberry said said it would continue to invest in digital innovation in its stores and in areas such as marketing and service and in customer insight in order to drive further growth. It is now close to implementing the SAP platform across its global operations and says that investment has enabled improved reporting, assortment planning, procurement and replenishment that all mean greater productivity and efficiency. The company is also building a customer insight platform and is working with technology partners to create a social enterprise platform that will help it, “to connect better all the constituencies around the brand.”
Angela Ahrendts, chief executive, said: “An intense focus by our global teams on business, brand and culture in recent years has resulted in a strong foundation across channels, regions and products.
“While we remain vigilant about the external environment, we will continue to invest in front-end opportunities within our brand, digital and retail strategies, to drive sustained, profitable growth and enduring customer engagement over the long term.”
Highlights of the year included investment in high-growth luxury markets. Burberry completed the integration of its operations in China, where by year-end it had 63 stores, accounting for 12% of its retail and wholesales revenues. The brand also has three stores in Brazil, two in Mexico and seven in India, with as many as 10 new stores planned for central and Latin America during the current financial year. The company is also investing in shop-in-shops in US department stores.