Luxury British retailer and brand Burberry expects earnings to come in at the top end of expectations after a strong final quarter.

Burberry posted a 33% surge in underlying sales for the quarter to March 31 to £390m. Retail sales in the period rocketed 48% to £261m and wholesale revenues rose 14% to £102m.

Total revenue for the six months to the same date soared 30% to £860m. European sales generated underlying growth of 16% to £254m. Worldwide retail revenue showed underlying growth of 42% to £596m and like-for-like sales increased by 13%.

Investec analyst Katharine Wynne is likely to raise her full-year pre-tax profit forecast by £5m to £300m, including profits from Spain.

Seymour Pierce analyst Kate Calvert said the guidance for retail is ahead of forecast and she will revisit the 2012 profit forecast of £355m as well.

Burberry was expected to have been affected by the tsunami and earthquake in Japan - its stock fell in the aftermath. Burberry’s 14 shop-in-shops and two flagship stores in Japan were “severely impacted in the immediate aftermath” but have recovered to some extent since then.

In the next year Burberry plans an increase of between 12% and 13% in average selling space and aims to build its presence in Latin America and the Middle East. As revealed by Retail Week (March 25) Burberry also intends to open high-profile and reconfigured shops in London.

Chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright said London stores always benefit from an inflow of tourists and added that should be the case with the bank holidays over the next couple of weeks. She added: “Clearly with the Olympics coming next year as well we have put a renewed spotlight on London.

Burberry: six months to March 31

  • Total revenue up an underlying 30% to £860m
  • Retail revenue up 42% to £596m
  • Like-for-like retail sales up 13%
  • Wholesale revenue up 14% to £214m
  • Licensing revenue down by an underlying 5% to £50m
  • Retail nearly 70% of total revenue