LONDON, United Kingdom — Burberry Group Plc reported sales that beat estimates, giving new chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti a boost as he seeks to benefit from a luxury-goods rebound in China while overhauling the company’s US business.
First-quarter retail revenue rose 3 percent on an underlying basis, to £478 million ($613.2 million), above analysts’ estimates of £471 million. Comparable sales were up 4 percent, ahead of estimates of 2.5 percent.
Burberry said results were boosted by strength in mainland China, producing mid-single-digit percentage growth in the Asia-Pacific region. The UK led gains in Europe, while the Americas remained weak, with a low single-digit decline, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
Gobbetti, the former head of LVMH’s Céline, took over as Burberry CEO this month from Christopher Bailey, who will continue to serve as the trenchcoat maker’s creative chief. In preparation for the handover, the company has been cutting costs and streamlining its brands in an effort to boost profitability.
Burberry’s US business remains a drag, and the company has been withdrawing from department stores in non-premium locations and shortening clearance periods in a push to lift prices and bolster its image. The company left its pretax profit outlook for the full fiscal year unchanged.
By Robert Williams; editor: Eric Pfanner.