Burberry sales take on a new look thanks to festive sprees

  • @LauraHChesters

Christmas shopping sprees delivered a welcome boost for Burberry today as the luxury brand announced forecast-beating sales, sending its shares to the top of the FTSE 100 index.

After dire results and a profits warning last year, the retailer's third-quarter update revealed sales were ahead 6 per cent at stores open at least a year while retail sales jumped 13 per cent to £464m. The shares strutted up 61p to 1,386p.

Gifts including cashmere mufflers, scarves and iPad accessories flew off the shelves as shoppers splashed out on expensive presents. The chief executive, Angela Ahrendts, said the group had a "particularly strong week in the run-up to Christmas". Fears of a slowdown in China were quashed as the group reported renewed demand.

Stacey Cartwright, the finance director, said: "There is certainly an improved sentiment in the Chinese market." Menswear demand also soared, with tailoring sales growth up nearly 50 per cent. But the wholesale business suffered, bringing overall sales growth to 7 per cent at £613m for the three months to January.

The luxury group is continuing its store opening plan – it already has more than 200 shops – and will open three new stores in Shanghai in the next year. Ms Cartwright said the group has been "ecstatic" about the performance of its Burberry World flagship, which opened in London last year.