Burberry boss plots growth for London

Marion Dakers
LUXURY retailer Burberry plans to expand “aggressively” in London, in a bid to improve on what are set to be strong half-year trading figures out tomorrow.

Burberry, expected to report on-track underlying sales knocked slightly by a fall in revenues from disaster-hit Japan, is set to ramp up its existing growth plans for London in the coming years.

Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts said in an interview at the weekend: “I think it’s time that we aggressively reinvest in London – our real estate footprint and our brand footprint. Last time I looked there was a big thing called the Olympics coming and they are inviting millions of people into the town.”

Ahrendts did not put a price tag on the investment, and a spokesperson for Burberry said yesterday the firm is not yet aiming for a specific number of stores or revenue gains.

Analysts have pored over Burberry’s outlook since the Japanese quake and tsunami on 11 March, which knocked more than seven per cent off the firm’s share price.

The company is expected to reveal some of the impact from Japan in its second-half update tomorrow, though analysts at Deutsche Bank still expect to see 11 per cent organic growth. More than 20 per cent of Burberry’s profits are generated in Japan.

Burberry is already set to open a flagship store on Regent Street after buying up shops formerly occupied by LK Bennett and Habitat. The outlet follows Burberry’s new Brit store in Covent Garden, which opened last week.

● The luxury retailer, which floated in 2002, makes four per cent of its sales and 21 per cent of its profits in Japan

● Burberry’s Asian division was its fastest-growing business in 2010