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Digital sales help Burberry to a 9% Christmas sales boost

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Burberry today said digital commerce outperformed in the third quarter of its financial year, helping to lift sales by 9%.

The upmarket fashion retailer said in a trading update and interim management statement that its total revenue climbed to £613m in the three months to December, up by an underlying 9% compared to the same time last year.

The retail part of its business, which includes online trading, saw sales hit £464m, up by 13%. “Record social media engagement,” said the statement, was generated by its Spring 2013 advertising campaign while digital commerce outperformed. Like-for-like store sales rose by 6%. Half of the growth came from sales of coats and other outerwear.

“Burberry delivered 13% underlying retail growth in the third quarter,” said chief executive Angela Ahrendts, “benefitting from a particularly strong week in the run up to Christmas. In an otherwise difficult quarter, core outerwear, mens and digital all outperformed.”

Wholesale income fell by 5% to £120m, a trend expected to continue for the rest of the year, while revenue from licensing was up by 4% at £29m.

Looking ahead, Ahrendts said: “We expect the external global environment to remain challenging, but see continued opportunities to drive productivity in our existing business, while investing for growth in under-penetrated regions, product categories, channels and mediums.”

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