(MENAFN - AFP) British luxury clothing and accessories group Burberry said on Tuesday that sales rose by seven percent in its third quarter after bucking the gloom that plagued many high-street chains over Christmas.
Total sales increased to 613 million (986 million, 737 million euros) in the three months to the end of December, compared with 574 million in the same part of the company's 2011/12 financial year, Burberry said in a trading update.
Investors cheered the news, sending Burberry shares to the top of London's benchmark FTSE 100 index with a gain of 4.65 percent to 1,387 pence, which was flat overall.
Burberry, which in September had warned that its second-quarter earnings had been hit amid economic slowdown in key market China, said on Tuesday that its Asia Pacific sales recovered to post a 15-percent jump in the third quarter.
Retail sales at the group's own stores rallied 11 percent in the reporting period, boosted by "strong" Christmas trade.
Burberry Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts said in the statement that the group had enjoyed a "particularly strong week in the run up to Christmas".
She added: "In an otherwise difficult quarter, core outerwear, mens and digital all outperformed.
"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."
On the downside, wholesale revenue generated by sales to department stores and concessions fell 5.0 percent in the period to 120 million.
The company, famous for its trench coats and trademark red, camel and black check design, added that wholesale numbers would be weaker than expected in the second half after a weak performance in Europe.
Burberry's impressive trading update was published as iconic British music retailer HMV collapsed into administration, placing more than 4,000 jobs at risk.
Administration is the process whereby a troubled company calls upon independent expert financial help in an attempt to remain operational.
Britain's weak economy and poor consumer sentiment have also contributed towards the recent collapse of both photography chain Jessops and electrical goods group Comet.
Others to go into administration in recent months included sports retailer JJB Sports, outdoor retail chain Blacks, and budget fashion group Peacocks.<