The Britain helps licensing growth at Burberry

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New luxury offering The Britain watch has helped to boost growth in Burberry’s licensing division, the brand has said.

Licensing revenue was down 5% to £53 million in H1 on an underlying basis but Burberry said that “global product licenses delivered solid growth in the half, helped by deliveries to distributors ahead of the launch of The Britain watch in early October”.

The Britain is being distributed in the UK by Fossil and is already stocked at retailers including WatchWarehouse, Harrods and The Watch Gallery.

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Burberry said that it expects full-year licensing revenue for at constant and reported exchange rates to be broadly unchanged year on year.

Total revenue at Burberry was up 8% to £883 million in H, with retail up 10% to £577 million and wholesale up 5% to £253 million. It opened 13 mainline stores in the period including thr new flagship on London’s Regent Street.

The Britain is the first line of automatic watches from the brand and a bid to push into the luxury end of the watch market.

Analyst Investec said that a strategy to elevate Burberry’s luxury status, such as demonstrated with the launch of The Britain, will hold it in good stead. It added that it expected to see volatility at the brand but that it sees long-term value as an investment and said that Burberry is “far from broken”.

A note from Investec said: “In our view, the ongoing elevation of the brand’s luxury positioning is crucial, reducing exposure to aspirational luxury shoppers who are likely to suffer more in downturns.”

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