* Q3 underlying revenue up 9 percent to 329 mln stg
* To cut about 290 jobs in Britain, 250 in Spain
* To make around 50 mln stg of cost savings in 2009-10
* Profit guidance for 2008-09 unchanged
By Mark Potter
LONDON, Jan 20 British luxury goods group
Burberry (BRBY.L) beat third-quarter revenue forecasts, helped
by heavy discounting, and said it would cut around 540 jobs in
Britain and Spain to protect profit in tough trading conditions.
The 153-year-old maker of upmarket raincoats and handbags
said on Tuesday revenues rose 9 percent at constant exchange
rates to 329 million pounds ($477 million) in the three months
to Dec. 31.
This compared with first-half growth of 13 percent and
forecasts of 270 million to 298 million pounds, according to a
Reuters poll of nine analysts.
Burberry said full-year adjusted profit would be in line
with guidance it gave in November and that around 50 million
pounds of cost cuts would underpin profit in 2009-10.
Retailers across the world are struggling as consumers cut
spending amid fears of a deep recession and job cuts.
Richemont CFR.VX, the Swiss group behind Cartier
jewellery, missed third-quarter sales forecasts on Monday, while
German retail giant Metro (MEOG.DE) unveiled a cost cutting plan
on Tuesday. [ID:nLG622526] [ID:nWEA2373]
Burberry, known for its camel, red and black check, said
like-for-like retail sales fell 3 percent in its third quarter.
"Revenue benefited from strong promotional activity,
especially in December," it said. "This impacted the gross
margin but enabled profitable clearance of excess stock. These
trends are expected to continue into the fourth quarter."
Burberry said it planned to cut 250 jobs in its
underperforming Spanish market, and close a sewing plant in
Rotherham, northern England, resulting in up to 290 job losses.
Production and investment will be focused in nearby
Castleford, where Burberry's iconic trench coats are made.
The group, which has 116 stores, 253 concessions and 76
franchised stores across the world, said the cost of its
restructuring plan would be up to 60 million pounds.
Burberry shares have underperformed the European DJ Stoxx
personal and household goods sector .SXQP by 38 percent over
the past year. They closed on Monday at 205.75 pence, valuing
the business at about 926 million pounds.
(Editing by Dan Lalor)