After the recent annonucement of the departure of its CEO, British luxury group Burberry surprises with a 14% rise in revenue to £528 million ($867.5 million) in the third quarter (to December 31st 2013), driven by China and an increasing shift toward online sales. The figure excludes sales generated from department stores, concessions or licenses. Comparable sales, at stores open for at least a year, rose 12%.
“Most of our big peers in China are accessories businesses; we’re still 60% apparel,” outgoing Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts said last year, noting that outerwear such as its trench coats, menswear and women’s designer apparel are key drivers of Chinese sales.Ms. Ahrendts is leaving to become retail chief at Apple Inc. AAPL +2.40% this Spring and will be replaced by Christopher Bailey, now chief creative officer.
Chief Financial Officer Carol Fairweather told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that the company “digitally resonates” with the Chinese luxury consumer, who is 20 to 25 years younger than elsewhere.Burberry was one of the first luxury companies to fully integrate its online and store services and has a long-standing social-media presence. The company doesn’t break out online sales, but Ms. Fairweather said the industry average is about 5% and Burberry “punches a bit above that.”