Burberry: No current plans to develop land next to Temple Works in Leeds

Luxury retailer Burberry is to maintain its manufacturing sites in Castleford and Keighley and has no current plans to develop the 10 acres of land it owns in Leeds next to the Grade I listed Temple Works building.

Burberry
Burberry

When asked about the group’s plans for the 10 acres in Leeds, chief operating and financial officer Julie Brown said: “There are no further updates. We decided not to renew the option on the Grade I listed building.

“We will maintain our sites in Castleford and Keighley. There is no change at all to our plans.”

Sign up to our Business newsletter

The group said it is ahead of schedule at its new Burberry Business Services site at ​​6 Queen Street in Leeds city centre and it has filled 200 roles, ahead of plans. It expects to employ 400 people at the site by the end of the year.

The fashion house said group like-for-like store sales rose by a weaker-than-expected 2 per cent and fell in the UK over the festive quarter.

Burberry said comparable sales in the UK fell by a “high single-digit percentage” in the three months to December 31 as it failed to match last year’s impressive performance, when sales surged 40 per cent thanks to a boost from tourist spend.

New chief executive Marco Gobbetti insisted the firm was making “good progress” on revamp plans, despite overall retail revenues falling 2 per cent on a reported basis to £719m for the crucial Christmas quarter.

The like-for-like sales performance fell short of City expectations for around 4 per cent growth.

But Burberry said it was on track to meet full-year profit forecasts.

The UK sales decline comes as a blow after last year’s soaring trade thanks to the Brexit-hit pound attracting luxury overseas shoppers.

Mr Gobbetti said: “”We are making good progress embedding our strategic vision into the organisation and remain on track to meet our full-year profit target.

“We are building on strong foundations and are fully focused on the successful delivery of our multi-year plan to position Burberry firmly in luxury and deliver long-term sustainable value.”

The trading update comes after the recently appointed boss sparked a shares plunge in November as he unveiled a strategic overhaul that will see the group focus solely on high-end luxury shoppers.

This included a store closure programme, with aims to ditch its outlets in department stores and shutter shops that are not found in or near communities of luxury shoppers.

Burberry said in its latest update that it was on track to deliver cost savings of £60m in the current financial year.

On Tuesday, the group became the first British brand to drop celebrity fashion photographer Mario Testino in light of sexual harassment allegations.