Burberry bags profit rise ahead of Tisci design era

A display of products for sale in a Burberry store (AFP)
Updated 16 May 2018

Burberry bags profit rise ahead of Tisci design era

  • Burberry reported a 2% rise in adjusted operating profit of 467 million pounds for the year to end-March
  • Tisci’s designs will be key to Gobbetti’s strategy to reinvigorate Burberry, where sales have lagged rivals

LONDON: Burberry beat profit forecasts on Wednesday as a strategy to re-energise its luxury brand showed early promise ahead of the arrival of its new designer Riccardo Tisci.
The former Givenchy star was appointed in March, replacing Burberry’s creative chief Christopher Bailey, who had turned the trench coat maker into a global brand.
Burberry’s chief executive Marco Gobbetti is repositioning the quintessentially British fashion house in a higher luxury segment and Tisci’s first collection will be shown in September.
“With Riccardo Tisci now on board and a strong leadership team in place, we are excited about the year ahead and remain fully focused on our strategy to deliver long-term sustainable value,” Gobbetti said.
Burberry reported a 2 percent rise in adjusted operating profit of 467 million pounds for the year to end-March. Its shares, which have risen 18 percent since Tisci was appointed, were trading up 3.5 percent at 1,867 pence at 0816 GMT.
“While the task of transforming Burberry is still before us, the first steps we implemented to re-energise our brand are showing promising early signs,” Gobbetti added.
The CEO set out a plan in November to catch up with faster growing luxury goods rivals, but he said there would be little, if any, growth in revenue and operating profit until its 2021 financial year as the program was implemented.
Tisci’s designs will be key to Gobbetti’s strategy to reinvigorate Burberry, where sales have lagged rivals.
The company reported group revenue of 2.73 billion pounds ($3.7 billion), down 1 percent, although comparable same store sales rose 3 percent, in line with market forecasts.
Bailey’s final runway show, which had a youthful streetwear focus, had been well received, Chief Financial Officer Julie Brown told reporters, with high demand for an edited capsule range of the collection available immediately.
Burberry’s new Belt Bags, which retail at 1,590 pounds, were also proving popular, she said.
Gobbetti wants to increase sales of Burberry’s leather goods, and the company agreed to take over the Italian leather goods supplier that makes the Belt Bag earlier this month.
Burberry said it had traded in line with its guidance since the start of its financial year on April 1.
Analysts were expecting the company to report adjusted operating profit of 453 million pounds, according to a company-provided consensus of 19 analyst forecasts. ($1 = 0.7401 pounds)


Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

Updated 39 min 46 sec ago

Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

  • The trade dispute between US and China has roiled global markets and unnerved investors
  • African nations need to boost trade with each other to cushion the impact of external shocks

DAR ES SALAAM: The US-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters.
The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight.
Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa — of 4 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 — if global external shocks accelerate.
“We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks.
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance.
Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade.
“The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said.
“The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labor, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”