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Burberry Revises Outlook, JD Sports Investing in Polish Retailer

Burberry Group plc looks to be on the mend.

For the fourth quarter ending March 27, 2021, the British luxury firm expects revenue and adjusted operating profit to be higher than expected due to a strong rebound in sales since December. Comparable store sales are now forecasted to be up 28 percent to 32 percent when compared with year ago figures. For the full year, Burberry said on Friday it expects group revenue to fall by 10 percent to 11 percent, and adjusted operating margin to be in the range of 15.5 percent to 16.5 percent.

While the U.K. and parts of Europe are still in lockdown, sales in parts of Asia, such as China and Korea, have bounced back. Prada S.p.A. on Wednesday said when it reported full-year results that nearly 90 percent of its total sales were driven in the second half by Mainland China (up 52 percent), Taiwan (up 61 percent), and Korea (up 22 percent).

Separately, British retailer JD Sports Fashion is set to acquire a 60 percent stake in Marketing Investment Group S.A. for an undisclosed amount.

The deal, signed on Thursday, is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the competition authorities in Poland. Both  JD Sports and MIG expect the transaction to close before the end of May.

“This is an exciting acquisition for JD that will further build on the success of our international development strategy, expanding our operations into Central and Eastern Europe. We have observed and admired the development of MIG over a number of years and we are confident that the combination of their highly experienced and knowledgeable management team, together with the expertise of the JD leadership team, will provide the Group with strong foundations from which to successfully optimize the opportunities in the region,” Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports, said. “We look forward to closing the transaction and welcoming the MIG team to the Group.”

MIG was founded in 1989 and is based in Krakow, Poland. The company is majority owned by brothers Andrzej and Zbigniew Grzçaka. MIG operates 410 retail stores and e-commerce sites across nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The retail businesses sell a wide range of sports fashion footwear, apparel and accessories from leading global brands, mostly under the Sizeer and 50 Style nameplates.

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JD Sports said that for the year Jan. 31, 2020, MIG generated revenues of 200 million pounds ($277.6 million).

JD Sports has been active on the mergers and acquisitions front lately, snapping up two American retailers, a $495 million deal for DTLR last month and its $325 million purchase of Shoe Palace in December. The lifestyle retailing conglomerate completed an equity raise in January, one that was aimed at increasing its flexibility to invest in future strategic opportunities, the company said at the time.