Lew disclosed that the company was interested in fashion chain Country Road if majority owner South African retailer Woolworths Holdings would sell its shares.

Shares in Burberry Group were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading, despite the company reporting a rise in revenue of 24 per cent to £282 million in the first quarter ended 30 June.

Retail sales increased by 16 per cent in the period to £171 million and wholesale revenue increased 46 per cent to £87 million. Licensing revenue grew by 14 per cent to £24 million.

On a geographical basis revenue grew by 20 per cent to £87 million, in the Americas sales were up 26 per cent to £76 million, in Asia Pacific sales increased 30 per cent to £75 million, while in the rest of the world revenue rose 27 per cent to £20 million. However in Spain revenue dropped by 25 per cent to nine million pounds.

Burberry said it expected revenue in the first half to grow in the high teens, with the exception of Spain. During the last quarter Burberry said it had opened eight new mainline stores with emphasis on Emerging Markets

Angela Ahrendts, Chief Executive Officer of Burberry, said, "With double-digit sales growth in both retail and wholesale, Burberry has delivered a strong start to the year. The clear momentum in the business and our robust financial position together reinforce our confidence to increase investment for the future, while continuing to enhance the brand.

We plan to open between 20 and 30 stores in the current financial year, predominantly in the Americas and Asia Pacific. Our continued investment in industry-leading digital, service and product initiatives will further increase awareness, traffic and sales, to drive long-term profitable growth for all our stakeholders."

By 09:00 shares in Burberry fell by 0.95 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 782.00 pence per share.