Burberry came under pressure earlier this week after results from luxury goods peer LVMH suggested a possible slowdown in the key Chinese market.
But better than expected figures from the UK group have seen its shares jump 59p to ￡13.25, a 5% rise which makes the company the best performer in the FTSE 100.
Burberry said total second half revenues rose 9% to ￡1.11bn, with like for like retail sales up 7% and total retail revenues up 13%. With analysts expecting a rise of just 2%-3% in the fourth quarter, this looks better than expected.
It opened ten stores including Chicago and a menswear outlet in Knightsbridge. Licensing revenues rose 3%, helped by the launch of the Britain watch and Body Tender fragrance. Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said:
With three-quarters of our revenue now generated in retail, we are pleased with the 13% growth in this channel in the second half, driven by continued innovation in product, marketing and customer service, especially over Christmas and Chinese New Year.
She said the global environment was expected to remain challenging, but there were particular opportunities in digital and its newly-integrated fragrance and beauty business. Analyst Allegra Perry at Cantor Fitzgerald said:
While trading remains uneven, Burberry has regained strong momentum in critical Asian growth markets. Given the recent sell-off in shares, would see this trading up today. Burberry trades on a rolling 12 month PE of 16.4 times which is around 4% below its 5-year historical average level and 5% below the luxury sector average.
Meanwhile Tesco is down 10.05p at 374.8p after it reported a 14.5% fall in underlying full year profits and confirmed it was exiting the US at a cost of ￡1bn.
Overall, with mining shares under pressure again and a number of companies going ex-dividend, the FTSE 100 is down 32.76 points at 6271.82. There was also a vague but unsubstantiated rumour of a possible downgrade of Germany, which has seen the Dax drop back. Matt Basi, head of UK sales trading at CMC Markets, said:
Equity markets took a sharp leg lower in Europe this morning, giving back early gains as rumours of a German downgrade sparked heavy selling. The market reacting so drastically to idle chatter of this nature is probably less indicative of any belief in the gossip than of the general nervousness amongst traders, as the bleak macro backdrop combines with wild commodity swings, acts of terrorism and unravelling geopolitical situations in North Korea and Israel to undermine investor confidence.
Hargreaves Lansdown has climbed 39.5p to 939.5p after the fund management group issued a positive update, while utilities were again in demand for their defensive qualities. United Utilities, once again tipped as a bid target, is up 8.5p to 740p.
Reckitt Benckiser has risen 43p to ￡46.92 after Bernstein lifted its price target from ￡50 to ￡53.
Among the miners, Fresnillo has fallen 87p to ￡10.74 and Polymetal is down 28p at 718p.
BAE Systems is 12.7p lower at 377.4p as its shares were quoted without the shareholder payout.