Comparable sales for Burberry declined 27% in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year ended March 28, 2020, with around 60% retail stores closed at end of March. For the full year, revenue totalled £2.63 billion (US$3.2 million), down 3% compared with the company’s previous fiscal year. Reported operating profit for the year declined 57% from £437 million (US$532 million) to £189.4 million (US$230.5 million), with a reported operating profit margin of 7.2% compared with 16.1% a year ago. Global retail sales in the year declined 3%.

According to Burberry, new products now comprise about 85% of the mainline store assortment and there was “a strong consumer response” to the new collections, delivering double digit growth for the first nine months of the company’s fiscal year. Accessories are said to have benefited from a fuller leather goods assortment and proved slightly more resilient to the decrease in luxury demand caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, which has materially impacted the business since late January. In revenue terms, Burberry said most of its losses in February were in Asian markets, while EMEIA and the Americas also suffered very significant losses in the last three weeks of the fiscal year.

“We also saw disruption across our supply chain. Our leather goods centre of excellence, Burberry Manifattura, and our trench coat factory in Castleford, Yorkshire closed in March. We also shut our major global distribution centre in Italy in March, with our American and UK logistics hubs reducing hours but remaining open to service our digital business. We also reshaped our supply chain to enable a continued service to those parts of the world that remained open”, said Burberry, adding that, in order to limit the impact of the outbreak, it implemented mitigating actions to contain costs and protect its financial position, including renegotiating rents, restricting recruitment, travel and other discretionary spending. Marco Gobbetti, CEO, Burberry, said the business “will take time to heal”.