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Burberry's Christmas sales boosted by Brexit-hit pound

By Holly Williams

Luxury fashion group Burberry hailed an "exceptional" festive performance in the UK as booming tourist trade helped send sales surging by around 40%.

The group - famous for its trench coats and check scarves - said it continued to receive a boost from tourists flocking to London to take advantage of the Brexit-hit pound, while a well-received advertising campaign also helped drive strong demand from UK customers.

Burberry said the UK performance contributed to a 3% rise in overall comparable sales across the group in the three months to December 31, with an improvement in some under-pressure markets including Hong Kong and France.

Christopher Bailey, the chief creative officer and the outgoing chief executive of Burberry, said: "With a record number of views of our festive film and strong demand for new products in our collections, this third-quarter improvement reflects early progress from our plans to drive on Burberry's performance for the long term."

The group said the "continued exceptional performance in the UK" was equally driven by "travelling luxury customers from all regions and from domestic customers".

Burberry also said it returned to growth in Asia Pacific over its Christmas quarter, with "high single-digit percentage" sales growth in China and narrowed sales falls in Hong Kong.

Trading remained weak in Continental Europe, according to Burberry, but it said France saw better trading compared with the previous three months.

Its festive best-sellers included its Banner handbags, rucksacks, as well as its buckle coat.

The group also revealed it attracted more than 22 million viewings for its Christmas campaign short film, starring Sienna Miller and Domhnall Gleeson, celebrating the life of founder Thomas Burberry.

The third-quarter sales rise marks a welcome recovery for Burberry under a turnaround plan that has included simplifying the product line.

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