Burberry hit by Hong Kong sales dip


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The Independent Online

Demand for Burberry’s trademark trench coats and ponchos softened the blow of a sharp drop in sales in Hong Kong in its first quarter.

The British designer said double-digit growth in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa helped its underlying sales climb 8 per cent to £407m in the quarter to 30 June.

However, a “double-digit decline” in sales in Hong Kong, which has seen fewer wealthy mainland Chinese shoppers visit in the wake of last year’s pro-democracy protests, weighed on its Asia-Pacific business. Chinese  customers account for roughly a third of Burberry’s group sales.

The pace of growth is less than half the 17 per cent seen in the same quarter last year, which could build pressure on its chief executive Christopher Bailey, who faces shareholders at the firm’s annual general meeting on Thursday. Mr Bailey has come under fire in particular over his £7.9m pay package.

Its finance chief Carol Fairweather added that the company was also “mindful of all the external factors” such as China’s recent stock market woes.

Burberry shares ended down 42p at 1,578p.