Burberry growth and productivity plans on track

Burberry Group says its ambitious revenue growth and productivity plans are on track.

A first half update shows total revenue £1,159m, down 4% underlying (up 5% at reported FX). The group said retail growth was offset by a decline in wholesale and licensing, in part reflecting strategic brand elevation.

Other highlights:

- Retail revenue £859m, up 2% underlying (up 11% at reported FX)

- Comparable sales improved in the second quarter (Q1: down 3%; Q2: up 2%), unchanged for the half

- Asia Pacific positive excluding Hong Kong and Macau

- EMEIA positive with significant outperformance in the UK in the second quarter

- Continued uneven demand in the Americas · Wholesale revenue £287m (down 14% underlying), in part reflecting strategic brand elevation in the US and Beauty, broadly in line with guidance - Licensing revenue £13m (down 54% underlying), reflecting planned expiry of Japanese Burberry licenses, consistent with guidance.

The group says plans to drive revenue growth and improve productivity are well under way

- Brand momentum strong * Exceptional brand reach from September runway show and strong response to inaugural straight-to-consumer collection

- Innovation and newness resonating with customers

* Strength in bags and emerging growth categories of dresses and ponchos

- Intense focus on customer cultivation and retail service

* Increased number of personal appointments and expansion of Burberry Private Client team

- Digital continued to outperform and grew in all regions

* Successful launch of redesigned burberry.com site

- On track to deliver planned cost savings of around £20m in FY 2017

- Recognised as industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index _ Completed £34m of initial £100m share buyback programme Chief creative and chief executive Christopher Bailey said: "In a challenging external environment, we continue to focus on product innovation, retail productivity and digital leadership, against a backdrop of sustained action and investment to deliver long-term outperformance of our brand and business.

"The progress we are making to improve our ways of working, the agility of our teams to react to changes in consumer behaviour and the strength of our brand give us confidence for the future. We remain on track to deliver our financial goals."