Burberry credits ‘digital innovation’ for brand momentum despite profit drop

Burberry has credited digital innovations such as interactive marketing and in-tweet purchasing features for continuing ‘brand momentum’ despite profits falling in the first half.

Profits in the six months to the end of September fell to £141.8m, from £159m last year, as the company was hit by exchange rates. Sales were up 14% to £1.1bn, with sales up across all regions including China where it has focused on improving its ecommerce service.

Burberry says digital outperformed as customers increasingly move been offline and online. Sales via in-store iPads accounted for 25% of the total, while click and collect was 20% of sales. Burberry says it is working to upgrade its mobile platform to build on this strong multichannel performance and has expanded its apps to 11 languages and 44 countries.

The luxury brand will also invest in customer data and insight and plans to roll out its “customer value management programme” to more than 300 stores globally to build on its single view of the customer. The aim is to drive retention and loyalty through more targeted and personalised contacts with its core luxury customers.

During the period, Burberry launched its MyBurberry fragrance, which it says has had a halo effect on the rest of the brand. It credited personalisation for that success and is now looking to replicate that in other areas, for example by introducing a monogramming service for its cashmere scarves.

Christopher Bailey, chief executive and chief creative officer, says: “We’re proud to report that Burberry delivered a strong first half. This performance reflects the passion and commitment of our teams around the world and the great momentum of the brand.

“Looking ahead, in a more difficult external environment, we continue to focus on the things that we can control. Through authentic products, great customer experiences and a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, we remain confident of Burberry’s sustained outperformance.”

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