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Burberry Sales Increase

Fashion house Burberry have announced that sales for the final quarter of 2004 increased by 3% year on year to some 161 million. The figures were described by the firm as being "solid", although it was noticed that UK sales had been slower than might have been hoped.

The UK slowdown was blamed on warmer weather than might be expected at this time of year. It was felt that this had a negative effect because it hit sales of the raincoats that Burberry have become noted for.

Retail sales accounted for some 60% of Burberry's total income, with sales in continental Europe seeming to lead the way.

The lower levels of sales in the UK reflect a more general trend that was reported on the UK high street, where Christmas sales figures have generally been viewed as disappointing.

It is being speculated that the poor Christmas figures have been caused by a loss of confidence among consumers, who have seen increasing interest rates and falling house values in recent months. Other factors may be that consumers have become much more aware and have held off for lower prices in the January sales.

The internet is also likely to have had an effect, with more people willing to shop online. Internet retailers are expected to have had good figures for the same period, undoubtedly taking customers away from some traditional high street stores.