Burberry has said it will refocus its branding on its British heritage under chief creative officer Daniel Lee, as sales and adjusted profits grew in the first half of the year.

Burberry store exterior London

Burberry wants to ‘strengthen its connection with British design, craft and culture’

For the 26 weeks to October 1, Burberry reported a 6% increase in adjusted operating profit to £238m and a 5% jump in sales to £1.3bn. Reported operating profit jumped 27% to £263m but free cash flow slipped to £88m. 

As a result, Burberry said it would be maintaining its near-term guidance for full-year 2024, “while mindful of the challenging macro environment and its potential impact on trading, particularly Covid-19 related disruption in mainland China and recessionary risks in Europe and the Americas”.

Burberry said it had a strong reception to its autumn/winter 2022 collection during the period, with leather goods sales jumping 11% in the first half, though outerwear sales grew just 3%, hampered by ongoing Covid restrictions in China. 

During the period, the luxury retailer opened or renovated 22 of its stores around the globe, including Bal Harbour in Miami and Taipei 101, and said it would be on track to open or refurbish 65 stores in its new format by the year’s end. 

The business also unveiled a new strategic phase for future growth to be spearheaded by Lee. 

Burberry said its next phase would “refocus on Britishness and strengthen our connection with British design, craft and culture” with an aim to double sales of leather goods, shoes and womenswear; convert all of its stores to the new format by the end of 2026; and double online revenues. 

Chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd said: “Burberry has an extraordinary legacy, a unique British heritage and a very strong platform to build on, as shown in our half-year results. Our focus in this next phase is on growth and acceleration. 

“We have a clear plan to achieve this across brand, product and distribution and a very talented designer in Daniel Lee, supported by a passionate team. I am confident in our ability to deliver our medium-term targets and realise our potential as the modern British luxury brand. I am excited about what we can achieve in pursuit of our long-term ambition to reach £5bn in revenue.”

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