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Burberry focuses on digital despite profits fall

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Burberry confirmed its commitment to digital this week, as it unveiled a rise in sales but a fall in profits.

The upmarket fashion retailer pointed to an increase in brand reach and engagement over the first half of its financial year, as it used “traditional and digital media in innovative ways.” Burberry now has 14m Facebook fans, Twitter accounts in 10 languages while its website is accessible in eight languages, including, added in the last six months, Spanish and Korean.

Features such as Click to Call and Click to Chat are now available in 14 languages with delivery to more than 100 countries. Meanwhile collect in store is currently being trialled in London and the US.

The update came as Burberry announced half-year revenues of £882.5m, 6.4% up against the £829.6m reported at the same time last year. Pre-tax profits fell to £111.9m from £158.7m last time. “Burberry continued to leverage the investment made in technology, from early learnings from customer insight, innovative in store technology trials to personalisation tools in digital marketing,” said the update to the city.

Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: "In retail/wholesale, which accounts for over 90% of our business, Burberry delivered 7% revenue growth, 11% profit growth and a further improvement in operating margin, all in a challenging external environment. “Our five key strategies remain highly relevant and we continue to invest in our retail, digital and technology growth initiatives.”
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