Burberry’s new boss to address City for first time as six-month sales break £1bn

Christopher Bailey will take over from Angela Ahrendts when she leaves to join Apple from the middle of next year

Burberry’s chief executive designate will address the City for the first time on Thursday as the luxury fashion brand’s revenue broke the £1bn barrier in the first half.

Christopher Bailey, who will take over from Angela Ahrendts when she leaves to join Apple from the middle of next year, will speak to analysts after remaining silent since news of his appointment last month.

Bailey is currently chief creative officer of Burberry and played a major role in the turnaround of the high end clothing and accessories brand, but shares fell sharply when Ahrendts’ shock departure was announced.

Ahrendts said on Thursday that Bailey’s appointment was “perfect succession planning”, adding that she had “every confidence we will scale to new heights under his leadership”.

Ahrendts was the highest-paid chief executive in the FTSE 100 last year, with a pay package of almost £17m,

Burberry’s revenue rose 17% to £1.03bn in the six months to 30 September, exceeding £1bn for the first time in the company’s history.

Adjusted pre-tax profit was roughly flat, rising to £174m from £173m in the same period last year. Ahrendts said this was better than the company expected at the beginning of the year, and partly reflected costs associated with its decision to bring its beauty business in-house in April.

She said the division would be a “key contributor to our future profitability”.

The company recommended an interim dividend of 8.8p per share, up 10%.

Burberry opened 14 stores and closed eight during the first half, with a focus on “high potential markets” including China, the Middle East, India, Brazil and Mexico.

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