Burberry confirms plans to expand its Yorkshire sites

Luxury fashion retailer Burberry is to expand and invest into its Yorkshire sites after reporting a decrease in operating profit to £438m and a share buy back scheme of £150m as it continues its transformation journey.

Burberry currently employs more than 400 people in Leeds and 800 at its garment factories in Castleford and Keighley.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Julie Brown, its chief financial officer, said that it planned to bring some of its American shared service operations into the Leeds site and expand the work it does there.

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She also reaffirmed her commitment to the Keighley and Castleford sites which produce the brand’s famed trench coat, saying investment was planned for these sites too.

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“The shared service centre in Leeds continues to grow in Leeds,” she said.

“We are very proud of the work the team have done there. We will look to bring some of American shared roles into Leeds as we expand our Leeds operation.”

Earlier this month The Yorkshire Post revealed Burburry is to sell its 10 acre site on Leeds’s South Bank and focus instead on its Castleford and Keighley sites.

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Burberry to sell South Bank land
Burburry trench coats Picture Bruce Rollinson

Ms Brown said that the land in the South Bank did not meet its strategic view but that Burberry was very much committed to Yorkshire.

Excluding beauty profits Burburry saw its revenue increase by two per cent and said that its outlook for the next year remained broadly stable.

It confirmed that it is to close 38 stores in what it described as “secondary locations” as part of a review of its operational footprint. The location of these stores have yet to be determined.

Burberry also confirmed that its new ranges under designer Riccardo Tisci in February were performing very well but had not yet made an impact on financial performance.

They are expected to hit stores later this year.

Burburry confirmed a dividend of 42.5p per share.

Marco Gobbetti, ceo, said: “We made excellent progress in the first year of our plan to transform Burberry, while at the same time delivering financial performance in line with expectations.

“Riccardo Tisci’s first collections arrived in stores at the end of February and the initial reaction from customers is very encouraging.

“The implementation of our plan is on track, we are energised by the early results and we confirm our outlook for FY 2020.”