Burberry Group PLC is on a roll, announcing this week a 31 percent profit rise before tax, in the first financial half - to 30 September 2008. Revenue rose to £449.1 million from £392m for the six month period.

With pre-tax profit coming in at 95.8 million pounds, the rise is attributed in part to the strong expansion of the company’s retail network and a 15.1 million pound gain from the sale of its Haymarket, London headquarters. The company, which is also celebrating the opening its first store in Florence this week, said that accessories, excluding licensing, now made up 31% of sales, and that the profit increase was also driven by sales of luxury handbags

“We are pleased with the progress Burberry has made in the first half of the year," said Angela Ahrendts, Chief Executive Officer. "This performance is consistent with our full year expectations. The diversity and balance that Burberry has across its products, channels and regions give us many opportunities for future growth.”

Burberry (burberry.com) has opened 11 new retail outlets this past six months across Europe, the USA and Asia, and is on course to open eight more in the second half of the financial year. This is one company who are as yet unaffected by the spiraling value of the dollar. However, as shoppers keep their purses tight in what should be the most fruitful season of the consumer year, the future does not look so sure, and jitters are aplenty when it comes to the future of the luxury sector.