Burberry Boosted By Late Christmas Shopping

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Burberry has reported a rise in revenue of almost 10% as its wealthiest customers continue to spend despite the economic downturn.

The luxury brand said revenue was £613m in the three months to December 31 - up 9% on an underlying basis.

The 157-year-old British retailer reported comparable sales up 6%, driven by the popularity of its iconic trench coat and accessories.

But wholesale revenue at Burberry fell an underlying 5% as a result of lower sales to some accounts across Europe.

The company's chief executive, Angela Ahrendts, said it had benefited from a "particularly strong week" in the run up to Christmas.

"In an otherwise difficult quarter, core outerwear, men's and digital all outperformed," she said.

"We expect the external global environment to remain challenging, but see continued opportunities to drive productivity in our existing business, while investing for growth in under-penetrated regions, product categories, channels and mediums."

Burberry, which has over 200 stores across the world, said sales growth remained low across America and Europe - but was especially weak in Italy.

The brand's popularity in Hong Kong and China helped boost sales growth in Asia, which saw double-digit growth.

Meanwhile, online grocer Ocado also reported strong Christmas trading.

Total (NYSE: TOT - news) sales in the six weeks to January 6 were up over 14% to £91.6m - and were 17% higher in the week before Christmas.

Tim Steiner, Ocado's chief executive, said it had been "a very good festive season" for the company.

"We are pleased to have helped record numbers of customers enjoy Christmas without the stresses and strains of visiting a physical supermarket," he said.

"Christmas has amplified the fact that shopping online for groceries is of increasing importance for consumers.

"In 2013, we will substantially increase our capacity with the opening of our second fulfilment centre, and so we hope to make it possible for many more customers to escape crowded aisles, checkouts and car parks."

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