FASHION brand Burberry kept up its recent strong sales performance yesterday as it hailed the success of its new fragrance.

The rejuvenated group said the product, Burberry Brit for men, had contributed to a 31 per cent rise in licensing revenues as overall sales lifted 14 per cent on a constant currency basis to £367m in the six months to September 30.

The improvement - eight per cent higher on a reported basis - came despite a subdued half year in the UK retail market and tough conditions in the US.

Stronger sales growth in continental Europe and Hong Kong offset that weakness as retail sales - helped by the opening of stores - pushed ahead by 12 per cent on an underlying basis and by four per cent at a reported level.

Chief executive Rose Marie Bravo put the group's performance, which was in line with expectations, down to a "balanced strategy by product, channel and region".

Earlier this year, Burberry announced profits of £138.8m - up from £85.1m - as the turnaround led by Ms Bravo maintained its momentum. She recently extended her stay at the fashion house until July 2006.