Burberry sales falter in Gobbetti’s first quarter as CEO

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Gobbetti

Burberry’s Christmas sales failed to meet expectations with comparable sales dipping year-on-year, dealing a blow to new chief executive Marco Gobbetti in his first reported quarter.

In the three months to December 31, comparable sales rose two per cent, below City expectations of a four per cent boost.

This compares even less favourably to the prior year’s 40 per cent sales surge thanks to an influx of tourism spend.

UK comparable sales also reportedly fell by a “high single-digit percentage”, while overall retail revenues dropped two per cent on a reported basis to £719 million.

Gobbetti has remained positive, hailing the progress of Burberry’s “strategic vision” and maintaining that the luxury retailer was still on track to meet full-year forecasts.

He also said its new strategy was still expected to deliver £60 million in cost savings.

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

“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.”

This strategic vision saw Burberry’s shares drop to a five-year low when it was announced in November.

The plan will see Burberry close its stores in areas not associated with high-end luxury shoppers, alongside shuttering outlets in department stores.

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