British luxury goods group Burberry beat second-quarter revenue forecasts, helped by demand for handbags and leather goods, and signaled an improvement in some second-half revenue trends.
The 153-year-old maker of raincoats said Wednesday it made revenue of 343 million pounds ($548 million) in the three months ended September 30, down 5 percent at constant currencies.
Analysts' forecasts ranged from 320 million pounds to 335 million in a Reuters poll of eight banks and brokerages.
Traders said Burberry shares were set to open around 5 to 8 pence higher.
Luxury goods firms have been hit hard in the recession, but Burberry, known for its camel, red and black check, reacted quickly by slashing costs, jobs, stock and range assortments.
After plunging 70 percent last year, its shares have reversed almost all their losses, outperforming the DJ Stoxx personal and household goods index by almost 100 percent this year.
Retail revenue rose an underlying 16 percent, including like-for-like growth of 5 percent, as double-digit percentage rises in Europe and Asia offset similar sized declines in the United States and Spain.
Burberry, which runs 122 retail outlets, 255 concessions, 90 franchise stores and an e-commerce business in over 25 countries, said it expected to open about 15 mainline stores over the full year, at the top end of its previous guidance.
Wholesale revenue fell an underlying 21 percent, while licensing revenue was down 9 percent.
Burberry said it expected second-half wholesale revenue would fall an underlying 15 percent and raised its full-year guidance for licensing revenue to a decline of 5 to 10 percent from a fall of 10 to 15 percent previously.
Burberry shares, which entered the UK's benchmark FTSE-100 index last month, closed at 537 pence Tuesday, valuing the business at about 2.3 billion pounds.
(Editing by David Holmes)