High-fashion retailer Burberry has announced a surge in sales, with revenue up by 21 percent.

The prestige brand reported a successful sales period in the three months to December. Revenue rose to £574m, up from £480m the previous year.

The 156-year-old firm, known for its camel, red and black checked pattern and classic trench coats, opened a flagship store in Paris and a third shop in Sao Paulo in Brazil over the period.

The growth has partly been put down to the brand's leading social media activity to drive customer engagement as well as the growth of major developing markets such as China.

The company said its investment in digital technology was key and sales in Chinese shops had increased by 30 percent.

The brand, with its distinctive British heritage, said knitwear, men's accessories and fragrances were among the bestselling lines.

Burberry's chief executive officer, Angela Ahrendts, said the company had delivered another strong performance. "Our investment in flagship markets and digital technology has enabled our global teams to continue to drive customer engagement, enhance retail disciplines and improve operational effectiveness, further strengthening brand momentum."

"We remain focused on executing our proven core strategies to achieve long-term sustainable growth, while staying mindful of the challenging macro environment," she said.

Chief executive of luxury brand thinktank Walpole, Julia Carrick, said British high-end brands were enjoying a renaissance with products by Burberry and Mulberry going from strength to strength in the UK and internationally.

Burberry's success follows the release of research commissioned by Walpole that predicted the UK luxury sector is set to grow by 57 percent in the next five years from £6bn at the end of 2010 to £9.4bn in 2015.

The research concludes that tourism has been of growing importance to the UK luxury industry with tourist spend accounting for just over one pound in every four spent on luxury goods in the UK.

The study also revealed that British luxury brands remained confident for the future as 91 percent of those surveyed forecast sales growth for 2011.

"The study highlights, in particular, the growing importance of tourism to the UK luxury sector and provides a positive outlook for the future of the British luxury industry as a whole," Carrick said.

Guy Salter, deputy chairman and founder of Walpole's Thought Leadership Unit, which commissioned the research, said the report backs the thinktank's long-held optimism about the luxury sector.

"We are Britain's unknown growth industry and a great example of something this country is globally competitive at. It also a timely reminder of the 'soft power' benefits of luxury brands in attracting visitors and flying the flag with affluent consumers around the world," he said.