* 2020-21 revenue down 10%, adj op profit down 8%
* Q4 comparable store sales up 32%
* Cautions on new year profit margin
* Shares down 8%
LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) - Burberry said its sales
were recovering from their COVID-19 hit, partly due to a rebound
in China, but cautioned profit margins in its new financial year
would be dented by increased investment, sending its shares
Shares in the brand, known for its trench coats, check
fabric and TB monogram, were down 8% at 0836 GMT, paring
year-on-year gains to 42%.
Burberry said 2021-22 adjusted operating margins would be
impacted by higher operating expenses as the pandemic recedes
and increased investment to drive growth.
It forecast "more meaningful" margin accretion thereafter.
Burberry reported a 10% drop in sales for the year to March
27 to 2.34 billion pounds ($3.29 billion) hit by store closures
and reduced tourism.
However, fourth-quarter comparable store sales increased 32%
year on year, despite an average of 16% of stores still being
It said full-price sales rose 63% in the quarter driven by
mainland China, Korea and the United States.
Other big luxury groups such as Hermes, Kering
and LVMH are on course to put the COVID-19
crisis behind them, with first-quarter revenues already above
In March, Burberry faced calls for a consumer boycott in
China over Xinjiang cotton.
Chief operating and chief financial officer Julie Brown told
reporters the label was pleased with its performance in mainland
China but declined to comment when asked if recent trading had
suffered from any backlash to Western accusations of abuses in
Taking full-year 2020 as the base year, Burberry expects
revenue to grow in the medium term at "a high, single-digit
percentage" compound annual growth rate at full-year 2021
constant exchange rates.
The company said this growth would be driven by full-price
sales as the fashion company exits markdowns in mainline stores
in full-year 2022.
Burberry also said that the move to reduce markdowns would
be a headwind against comparable store sales growth amounting to
"a mid-single digit percentage" in the year.
Adjusted operating profit of 396 million pounds was above
analysts' average forecast of 378 million but down 8% from 433
million in 2019-20.
The full-year dividend was reinstated at 2019 levels of 42.5
($1 = 0.7121 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Jane Merriman and Jason