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Britain's Burberry to beat forecasts after sales rebound

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LONDON (Reuters) - British luxury group Burberry said on Friday it would beat market forecasts for profits and revenues in its final quarter after a strong rebound in sales since December, sending its shares to pre-pandemic levels.

In an unscheduled trading update, the company famous for its trench coats said comparable store retail sales in the last quarter of its financial year to March 27 were expected to be 28% to 32% higher than the same period last year.

"Since December, we have continued to see a strong rebound and now expect revenue and adjusted operating profit to be ahead of consensus expectations," it said.

Shares in Burberry jumped as much as 10% in early deals to the highest level since Jan. 22, 2020. They were trading up 8.3% at 2,153 pence at 0859 GMT.

For the full year, it said it expected group revenue to decline by 10% to 11%, while its adjusted operating margin would to be in the range of 15.5% to 16.5%.

Analysts on average had expected group revenue at constant exchange rates to fall 13% for the year, according to a consensus compiled by the company in January.

Burberry, which showed its first menswear-focused collection by designer Riccardo Tisci last month, has seen a strong recovery in sales in mainland China and South Korea.

Growth in Asia has in part offset declines in Europe, where regional COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions have shut stores and deterred tourists.

Rival luxury groups have also seen recoveries in the important Chinese market.

Italian fashion house Prada and luxury goods group Salvatore Ferragamo said this week that strength in China had boosted sales this year.

Burberry will publish its full-year results on May 13.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Sarah Young, Michael Holden and Jan Harvey)