Burberry said it expects its licensed watch business to deliver double-digit growth in the next financial year, as the company posted 2013 full-year results that show near-flat licensing revenues.
In the year to March 31, Burberry’s licensing division, which includes its watches, hit revenues of £109.4 million, up 1% on the previous year’s figures but down 1% on an underlying basis. The licensing division now accounts for 5% of Burberry’s total turnover.
During the period Burberry launched automatic watch range The Britain, which has signified a repositioning of its watch offer and a move into higher price points, and at BaselWorld the brand pushed further up market once again.
At the exhibition it launched its first automatic chronograph with a Trench Gold case – Burberry’s own mix of palladium and 18ct gold – with a ticket price of £13,000.The watch, which has been limited to 50 pieces and has a rotor decorated with Burberry check in place of Geneva stripes, will be sold exclusively at Burberry boutiques.
In a forward-looking statement Burberry said that it expects its two global licensed product sectors to deliver growth in its 2014 financial year – watches and eyewear. It said it expects both categories to deliver double-digit percentage growth.
Business in 2013 was strong overall at the group, which has set up a fifth product division by taking its beauty business in house this year. Revenue was up 8% to £2 billion, adjusted profit before tax was up 14% to £428 million and retail sales were up 10%.
Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts said: "Finishing the year with a strong retail performance both online and offline, Burberry achieved record revenue and profit in 2012/13.
"Looking ahead, although the macro environment remains uncertain, Burberry is well positioned with opportunity by channel, region and product. With the integration of Beauty in April, we have added another exciting growth platform. Our brand momentum, proven strategies and closely connected global team provide confidence in Burberry’s future performance."