Luxury fashion house Burberry has revealed that sales rebounded by 32% in its final quarter thanks to strong demand from rich shoppers in Asia and the US.
The group said the fourth-quarter bounceback in like-for-like store sales came despite 16% of its shops globally still remaining closed due to lockdowns as it resumed dividend payouts to shareholders.
The performance helped limit the fall in full-year revenues to 11%, or 10% at constant exchange rates, with retail turnover down 9%.
Burberry posted a 12% drop in underlying pre-tax profits of £366 million for the year to March 27.
Underlying operating profits were 9% lower at £396 million, but surged to £521 million on a reported basis from £189 million the previous year.
Burberry said it expects revenues to continue recovering over the year ahead, with growth in the “high single” digits, though an ongoing push to reduce markdowns will constrain its like-for-like performance.
It restarted dividends with a 42.5p a share full-year payout, matching 2019 levels.
The group said full-price sales jumped 63% in its final quarter, driven by demand in mainland China, Korea and the United States.
Burberry has benefited from stores being open again in these areas, even though sites across Europe remained shut due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Burberry has also been focusing on selling more products at full price, rather than with discounts.
Chief executive Marco Gobbetti said: “In spite of Covid-19, we achieved our objectives for the period and delivered a strong set of results in 2020-21, ending the year with good full-price sales growth.
“In this next chapter, supported by these foundations and the strength of our teams, we will accelerate our growth.”
But the results showed the difficulties in trading across the UK and Europe throughout recent Covid lockdowns and the absence of travel spend, with annual comparable store sales plunging 44% across the wider Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa region.
“The UK remained challenged, with London performance weak given high tourist exposure,” Burberry said.