Burberry ‘committed to region’

TOO EARLY TO SAY: Plans for a manufacturing and weaving facility in Leeds remain up in the air.
TOO EARLY TO SAY: Plans for a manufacturing and weaving facility in Leeds remain up in the air.
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Luxury fashion firm Burberry said it was too early to say whether it will go ahead with its planned state-of-the art flagship manufacturing and weaving facility in Leeds, saying that it needs to consider the Brexit impact.

When asked whether the plans could be scrapped, Julie Brown, chief finance officer of Burberry, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It’s a very important decision for Burberry. It’s too early to say.

“Clearly we have had a number of management transitions and we have a new CEO starting in July. It’s a big decision for Burberry. We are considering the implications for Brexit.”

She added that the group is committed to its operations in the region.

“We are very committed to Yorkshire. We have excellent facilities already there,” she said.

The firm announced in late 2015 that it would move its ​​Castleford and Keighley staff to Leeds’ South Bank.

Work on the facility was ​originally ​due to begin last year, set to be completed in 2019​, but the Brexit vote​ ​scuppered the plans and ​the move has been placed on hold.

I​t is now thought that incoming chief executive ​Marco Gobbetti​ w​​ill make the final decision on whether to open the new site or scrap the plans and keep the existing operations ​in ​Castleford and Keighley​.​ Ms Brown also said it was too early to say how many London staff have agreed to relocate to the new Leeds office​, which will house much of Burberry’s finance, procurement and human resources operations, as well as some call centre and IT personnel.

She said the move is part of a ​plan to deliver at least £100​m in cost savings by 2019. Burberry ​announced a 21 per cent fall in annual ​underlying pre-tax profit to £462​m.

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