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Burberry annual profit up 5%, launches £150m buyback

UK luxury fashion group Burberry reported Wednesday annual profit rose 5% to £467m in the year to end of March, as cost savings offset falling revenue.

The firm also announced it would launch a £150m share buyback programme expected to be completed in 2019.

After stripping out the benefit of currency movements, adjusted profit before tax rose 2%, the firm said.

Total revenue fell 1% as retail growth was offset by declines in wholesale and licensing as the retailer continued to take strategic actions to elevate the brand.

Sales from Burberry's own stores increased 3%, same-store sales also rose 3% supported by improved performance in the US.

Cost-cutting plans were ahead of schedule, the company said, with £64m of annualised savings achieved in the past year.

For fiscal 2019, the firm said it expects to trade in line with guidance. Net space reduction is expected to lower revenue by 1%. While adverse currency movements are expected to drag revenue lower by about £45m.

'In a year of transition, we are pleased with our performance as we began to execute our strategy. 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,' said Marco Gobbetti, Chief Executive Officer. Story provided by