November 9, 2017 / 10:11 AM / a year ago

Britain's FTSE under pressure as Burberry revamps its strategy

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* FTSE 100 flat, mid caps down 0.4 pct

* Burberry plummets after new strategy, H1 results

* Housebuilders under pressure

* Mid-cap Hikma’s trading update disappoints

By Kit Rees

LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - A drop in luxury group Burberry weighed on the UK’s top share index on Thursday, which was stuck below a five-month high as results were the main focus.

Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index was flat in percentage terms at 7,528.09 points by 0951 GMT, while mid caps fell 0.4 percent.

A plunge in Burberry’s shares was the big move on the index. The luxury retailer plummeted 10.4 percent and was on track for its biggest one-day loss since September 2012 after announcing a new strategy and giving a first-half update.

Burberry plans to move upmarket by focusing on leather goods and fashion and cutting sales to non-luxury stores, initially in the United States.

“The focus in more on the strategy update. That just highlights the fact that outlook trumps everything, really, even when the results themselves were OK,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

“We buy shares for optimism of growth pulling the shares higher. If there’s delay to that, it’s going to sap demand for the shares.”

Burberry’s shares had gained 34 percent so far this year before the results. The FTSE 100, by comparison, has gained just over 5 percent year to date.

Housebuilders also suffered, with shares in Persimmon , Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments falling by 2.3 percent to almost 3 percent after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said house prices in Britain were no longer rising. London house prices were falling at their fastest pace since 2009, RICS said.

Mid-cap builder Redrow fell 2.9 percent after reporting weak results.

Business media company Informa was the top gainer, up 2.7 percent. The company reported revenue rose in the first 10 months of 2017, buoyed by its global exhibitions business .

AstraZeneca gained 1.5 percent after reporting its third-quarter results, which showed a slowdown in the rate of decline in drug sales.

Outside the blue chips, a trading update weighed on Hikma , which dropped 5.5 percent after cutting its generic sales forecast again. Its partner Vectura Group fell 7.7 percent.

Both companies are in a dispute with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over plans to launch a generic copy of GlaxoSmithKline’s lung drug Advair in the U.S. market.

Reporting by Kit Rees, editing by Larry King

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