Burberry says plans for £50m Leeds site are on track, denies any delays

Burberry has seen a fall in trading falling reduced Chinese demand
Burberry has seen a fall in trading falling reduced Chinese demand
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Luxury goods firm Burberry, famous for its ​Yorkshire-made ​trench coats, has quashed rumours that it is to delay its £50m investment in a new site in Leeds following the Brexit vote.

The rumours emerged after Burberry's chairman John Peace said after the group's AGM on Thursday that investment in the Leeds site had been "put on hold for the moment, but that might be for a very short period of time".
​However Burberry was quick to retract his statement.
A spokesman said: "The result of the EU referendum is being taken into account but our plans for a new manufacturing and weaving facility in Yorkshire remain absolutely on track.
"We are absolutely still on track to open it in 2019."
The statement follows the news on Wednesday that Burberry has moved into consultation with employees over job cuts, but said it was too early to say how many staff will be axed or where jobs will go.
The news came as Burberry reported​ a 3 per cent drop in like-for-like sales in what it described as a challenging first quarter
The group hopes to make cost savings of £100m by overhauling its operations as it struggles to cope with a reduction in the number of Chinese tourists visiting its stores in Europe and weak demand in Hong Kong.​
Burberry's finance director Carol Fairweather said: "We have moved into consultation with our employees, but I can't say any more. That work is ongoing. It's not appropriate for me to give details."
It is unlikely that the skilled workers who stitch 5,000 heritage trench coats a week at Burberry's factory in Castleford will be affected as their jobs are vital to Burberry's success. Their stitching skills take a year to hone and Burberry is hoping to persuade its 800 workers in Castleford and Keighley, where the gabardine fabric is woven, to move to a new state-of-the-art manufacturing and weaving facility in Leeds.
Burberry is spending over ​£50m ​on the new facility, situated on the South Bank of Leeds, which will employ more than 1,000 people when it is completed in 2019.
Instead the job cuts are likely to hit the group's head office or in stores.
Burberry has benefited from a drop in the value of the pound after Britain voted to leave the European Union last month. It said its adjusted profit for the year would be boosted by about £90m if exchange rates remain at current levels, compared with a previous forecast of a £50m boost.

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