British catalogue and retail giant Great Universal Stores plc (GUS) said that the flotation of its subsidiary Burberry was on track. Upon presenting London-based GUS’s annual report, group CEO John Peace said that Burberry would be partially taken public within the next twelve months. Peace, thus, denied speculation that the float was to be called off due to unfavourable market conditions.
In the financial year ended March 31, 2001, GUS’s turnover increased by 7 % to GBP 6.04bn (EUR 10.1bn), pre-tax profit rose by 9 % to GBP 486.8m (EUR 814.2m). Following the spectacular relaunch of Burberry as an international luxury brand, Burberry was the group’s top performer in the year, with turnover increasing by 47 % to GBP 425m. Profit more than tripled to GBP 69.5m.
Accessories accounted for particularly strong sales, with turnover in Burberry stores doubling. According to GUS, the Burberry flagship store openend in London’s New Bond Street in August 2000, which is considered a model for future stores, exceeded expectations.
GUS plans to step up the expansion of its store portfolio with new locations in Beverly Hills and Westchester in New York and D�sseldorf in Germany, and the refurbishment of the Chicago, Paris and Berlin stores. GUS’s main engines for growth were the Argos Retail Group with a turnover of GBP 4.25bn and the financial service company Experian with a turnover of GBP 1.02bn.