Burberry will continue to invest in digital marketing strategies in the New Year to capitalise on the increased brand reach the group has achieved since launching its new strategy in autumn 2010. Digital sales were up by 50% over this period.
The brand is continuing to push a premium position, with "classic" designs never before sold at a discount, helping to push its gross business margin up to 64.3%. Pre-tax profit leapt 50% to £117.7m.
Angela Ahrendts, chief executive, said: "The continued focus on the brand, ongoing investment in our digital, IT and retail infrastructure, especially in China, and a disciplined approach to driving growth underpin our confidence in delivering long-term sustainable returns."
Digital marketing has been a success according to the interim statement. It said: "Burberry now has nearly three million Facebook fans, the largest of any luxury brand, and over 650,000 people viewed the livestream of the September runway show.
"This was also transmitted to invited audiences in 25 flagship stores through Burberry's new 'retail theatre' technology. A global digital commerce platform is being tested for roll-out in the coming months."
Burberry has expanded aggressively into digital and social marketing in the past year, with iPhone apps enabling consumers to buy instantly, and the launch of the artofthetrench website to promote its classic coat designs.
Sarah Manley was appointed chief marketing officer last month, and the group appointed Universal McCann as its global media buying and planning agency in April as part of its ongoing communications consolidation strategy.