LONDON — Christopher Bailey is staying put at Burberry — at least for now.Bailey may have bid the financial world an emotional farewell as he prepares to hand over the chief executive officer mantle to Marco Gobbetti in July, but it’s clear Bailey remains committed to Burberry — and is ready to refocus fully on all things creative.He said Thursday, during an analyst presentation following the 2016-17 results announcement, that a highlight of his tenure as ceo was recruiting Gobbetti, the former Céline ceo who joined Burberry earlier this year as executive chairman for Asia-Pacific and Middle East.Bailey said Gobbetti's appointment, which takes effect July 4, “will allow me to redouble my focus on design, product and telling stories.” Bailey will continue as chief creative officer and take on the new title of president in July.He had held the controversial dual role of chief creative officer and ceo since 2014, following the departure of former ceo Angela Ahrendts for Apple.Indeed, Bailey used his presentation to drive home his commitment to the FTSE 100 company, and to quell all doubt about his future there. Bailey said he planned to work closely with Gobbetti as the company entered its next chapter, and he's approaching the future with “huge optimism” for Burberry.[caption id="attachment_10752158" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Marco Gobbetti[/caption] Profits for the year ended March 31 fell 7.3 percent to 286.8 million pounds, or $375.7 million, in line with analysts’ expectations, while revenue in fiscal 2016-17 was down 10.4 percent on a reported basis, and 2 percent on an underlying one to 2.77 billion pounds, or $3.63 billion.The past year had been a tough one for Burberry, which 12 months ago laid out a restructuring and cost-savings plan aimed at honing the brand for a future of slower growth for luxury goods, and for a digitally engaged, want-it-now customer base.Shares in the company rose steadily throughout the day, closing up 5.2 percent at 17.26 pounds, or $22.33.Burberry also announced a 5 percent increase in its full-year dividend at 38.9 pence, or $0.50, pointing out that its key revenue driver, the retail business, climbed 3 percent on an underlying basis.Adjusted profit before tax was up 42 million pounds, or $55 million, to 462 million pounds, or $605 million, in line with guidance. Adjusting items included lower beauty revenue after Burberry slashed the number of wholesale distributors from 3,500 to 35, and costs associated with the transfer of beauty operations to Coty, which is set for October.Profits were also dented by planned restructuring charges of 20.8 million pounds, or $27.2 million, relating to Burberry’s new cost and efficiency program, in line with guidance.Burberry also announced a new 300 million pounds, or $388 million, share buyback program to be completed by March 31, 2018, paid for partly with money from the Coty deal.In the second half of the current fiscal year, Burberry will receive a total of 180 million pounds, or $233 million, from Coty for the long-term exclusive global license and related transfer of the beauty business, including gross assets.There are some clouds on the horizon.It remains unclear whether Burberry will go ahead with its plan, announced in late 2015, to build a state-of-the-art trenchcoat factory in Leeds, England. The initial investment in the factory was set to be 50 million pounds, or $77.2 million, at the time.Burberry had already found the land and had planned to open the new facility by 2018. Dubbed Project Artisan, the factory was meant to replace Burberry’s two Yorkshire workshops that make its heritage trenches.During a call earlier in the day, chief operating officer and chief financial officer Julie Brown said while Burberry remains committed to Yorkshire, the company has been taking its time making a decision about the fate of Project Artisan. (Earlier this month, it announced plans to move 300 back office jobs from London to Leeds, Yorkshire, as part of its cost-savings and efficiency drive.)“We’re considering a number of options,” said Brown, adding that there were “Brexit implications,” as well as input and decisions to be made by the incoming ceo. The project was announced long before Gobbetti's appointment and Britain's vote to leave the European Union last summer.As it mulls the future of its Yorkshire factories, Burberry said it is putting a renewed focus on bags, sales of which grew 16 percent year-on-year in 2016-17. The new DK88 bag, whose design is inspired by the brand’s heritage trench, will get its own stand-alone campaign and store windows later this month.[caption id="attachment_10879888" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The atmosphere at the Burberry DK88 bag launch.[/caption]Bailey said there would also be a sharper focus on the bag category going forward, with plans to elaborate on newness, but also on key shapes, core styles and add-ons to product families.Brown said Burberry sees accessories, which generate 40 percent of revenue, as a high-potential growth category.Overall, Bailey said the company would be taking “a more strategic approach to key categories,” such as handbags, as part of its strategy to nurture repeat business from local customers, and to drive sales per square foot in stores, an area where Burberry has been lagging behind its peers.“A greater proportion of my time will be spent on product,” Bailey said. “We can do so much more.”Burberry also plans to spend some of its 140 million pounds, or $240 million, in this year's capital expenditure on store refurbishments, rather than store openings, as it seeks to consolidate its retail network after years of rapid expansion.On the digital front, Burberry is working to bring the worlds of brick-and-mortar and online ever closer, with new services such as same-day delivery in 200 cities, instant, in-store collection services for online shoppers, and online deliveries sourced from distribution centers as well as stores.Some 70 percent of Burberry customers’ buying decisions are influenced by digital, and the brand has made a series of moves as a result.It has launched a local site in China, and unveiled a redesigned web site for desktop and mobile. It has also introduced a Burberry customer app in the U.K.The company said while its guidance for full-year adjusted profit before tax remains unchanged at constant exchange rates, it is expecting a 30 million pounds, or $39 million, dent in reported adjusted PBT due to the adverse impact of currency fluctuations.Burberry based its estimate on April 28 effective rates.
“I think what’s so interesting about the #MeToo movement and this whole new wave of feminism in general, is that women are finally seeing, ’Oh I can start my own company, oh I can lear to code, oh I can leave my nine-to-five job and do the thing I want to do,” said @brooklyndecker ahead of her @sxsw talk for @createcultivate. The former model took the stage to share wisdom about networking and female-driven entrepreneurship. #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.