Source - Alliance News

Burberry Group PLC on Wednesday reported annual results in line with market expectations and backed its guidance for financial 2023 on a strong recovery from the pandemic.

In addition, it lifted its annual payout and announced plans for a £400 million share buyback programme.

The London-based luxury fashion retailer recorded an operating profit of £543 million in the financial year that ended April 2. This reflected a 4.2% increase from £521 million the year before.

Adjusted operating profit jumped 32% year-on-year to £523 million from £396 million, matching company-compiled consensus, which guided for a profit as high as £522 million.

Burberry's pretax profit rose 4.3% to £511 million from £490 million a year earlier.

This was on revenue growth of 21% to £2.83 billion from £2.34 billion, which exceeded company-compiled consensus of £2.82 billion by 0.4%.

Burberry credited its performance to a healthy recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, with retail comparable store sales increasing 18% and full-price comparable store sales up by 24%, year-on-year.

However, the retailer noted that regional lockdowns in China and reduced tourism in Europe, the Middle East & Africa due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions represented headwinds throughout the year.

Encouraged by its ‘strong’ financial performance in financial 2022, Burberry restored its ‘normal pay-out ratio’ and declared an annual dividend of 47.0 pence, up 11% from 42.5p the prior year.

In addition, it plans a £400 million share buyback set to be completed in the current financial year.

Looking ahead, Burberry maintained its guidance of high single-digit revenue growth.

However, it cautioned that its outlook is dependent on the future impact of Covid-19 and its rate of recovery in consumer spending in China.

‘The Covid-19 pandemic continued to have an impact on the global economy throughout the current year. While the adverse impact on the group's operations and financial position has significantly diminished during the course of the financial year, at the date of signing these financial statements, there remains significant uncertainty regarding the timing of any global recovery from Covid-19, and the return to previous levels of footfall in city centres, travel and tourism in some locations,’ Burberry said.

Shares were trading 0.3% lower at 1,579.50 pence each on Wednesday afternoon in London.

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