Burberry profit falls 21 percent ahead of new CEO arrival

Burberry profit falls 21 percent ahead of new CEO arrival

LONDON Britain's Burberry reported a 21 percent underlying drop in full-year pretax profit due to weak demand in the United States, underlining the challenge facing Marco Gobbetti when he takes over the top job in July.

The luxury group, which is known for its trenchcoats, is trying to refresh its product range, become more efficient and improve the performance of its stores, where its space delivers less sales than rivals.

In the last year Burberry has benefited from the drop in the value of the pound following the vote to leave the EU, boosting operating profits by nearly 130 million pounds.

For the full year, its adjusted pretax profit came in at 462 million pounds, in line with expectations and up 10 percent on a reported basis but down 21 percent when the impact of currency is stripped out.

Burberry said the currency boost would reverse this year, with current rates suggesting an adverse impact of about 30 million pounds.

Christopher Bailey, who is currently in charge of both creative and executive duties at the company, said it had been a year of "transition" in a fast changing luxury market.

He said Gobbetti would strengthen the brand and take the company to the "next level as a global luxury retail and digital business".

Revenue for the year to end-March fell 2 percent on an underlying basis to 2.8 billion pounds, the company said on Thursday.

Analysts expect pretax profit to edge up to 468 million pounds for the current year.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)

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