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Business News

Burberry is beating the forecasts as its menswear thrives

Dapper men snapping up Burberry's smart tailoring and accessories helped the luxury brand report forecast-beating sales yesterday.

Its chief executive Angela Ahrendts said "spring/summer 2013 was a standout season" for the brand as it reported first-quarter sales of £339m, well ahead of analysts' expectations and last year's £280m.

Menswear and handbag sales pushed comparable store sales up 13 per cent, beating the 8 per cent sales growth in the previous quarter.

Burberry's finance director Carol Fairweather, at her debut results after taking over from Stacey Cartwright this summer, said: "Menswear globally is doing very well. We are getting back to the heritage we had in menswear."

Those joining the trend include the Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who wore the label to the Champions' Dinner.

The update was well received in the City as the shares jumped nearly 5 per cent to 1,509p. John Truong, a senior trader at Accendo Markets, said: "If global luxury sales rise to 5 per cent this year as expected we could well see Burberry's share price soar to record all-time highs."

The brand will launch a new men's fragrance in autumn as part of its expansion into the sector after gaining full control of its beauty business in April. But the costs of taking the beauty division in-house mean the group expects half-year profits to be down compared with the previous year and full-year guidance is unchanged.

Despite fears of a slowdown in sales for the luxury sector in Asia, Ms Fairweather said she was "pleased with the performance" in the region but said: "We cannot control the Chinese economy. So we make sure we are properly represented in the region and focus on customer service." It will open three Shanghai stores this financial year.

The brand reported improved sales for its higher-priced Prorsum and London lines globally and said it was focused on the travelling luxury consumers who buy at the top end of its product range.