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Burberry second half sales up 18 per cent

Shares in luxury retailer fell 5 per cent following smaller than expected sales jump.

Burberry made an underlying revenue of £1.027 billion in the six months to 31 March; an 18 per cent increase on the previous half year. However despite particularly strong trading in Britain, China and France, sales at the luxury British fashion house came in 2 per cent below the £1.048bn forecast.

Growth in the high-end clothing, perfume and accessories brand - despite remaining high - has slowed over the last 12 months. Burberry's retail revenue in the six months from 1 April 2011 was up 16 per cent, compared to 13 per cent in the third quarter and 11 per cent in the final three months closing at the end of March 2012.

Burberry's chief executive, Angela Ahrendts, said:

We are pleased with Burberry's finish to the year across all channels, regions and product divisions. Looking ahead, while we remain vigilant about the external environment, our global teams continue to focus on optimising our core brand, digital and cultural initiatives, while investing to drive sustainable, profitable growth.

Shares in Burberry fell almost 5 per cent in early trading; a small drop against the increase of a third since the start of this year. The company operates over 500 shops across 50 countries and is sticking with plans to expand its average retail space by up to 14 per cent in the coming years, as well as open 15 new stores in emerging market cities.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.