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Burberry, Richemont Weaker Amid Worries Over Top Level Changes

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By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com – Burberry (LON:BRBY) and Richemont (SIX:CFR) were trading lower in Friday’s premarket as worries about top level reshuffle outweighed positive first-quarter performances by the two retailers.

Burberry stock was down 4% in London and Richemont stock 2% in Switzerland.

The U.K.-based fashion group, known for its trenchcoats and distinctive check trademark pattern, will see its Chief Executive Marco Gobbetti return home to Italy at the end of 2021 to steer Salvatore Ferragamo (OTC:SFRGY).

Chief Financial Officer Julie Brown told Reuters Gobbetti's announcement had come as a surprise, but it was "very much a personal decision". Gobbetti had sought to elevate Burberry in the luxury sector.

Investors fear Riccardo Tisci, whom Gobbetti brought in to revitalize the brand, could also follow his boss but Brown said the designer remains committed.

A broader reshuffle is taking place at the maker of Cartier and Baume&Mercier watches.

Richemont said the chief executives of Cartier, Van Cleef&Arpels and fashion and accessories would leave the senior executive committee to solely focus on their businesses. They will no longer be on the board of the company but continue to report to Chairman Johann Rupert.

Attributing the changes to the ongoing pandemic and the continued acceleration of ‘new retail’, the company said the committee would focus on strategic matters and the executives on customers. The changes come into effect September 8.

Burberry said retail revenue for the 13 weeks to June 26 rose 86% year-on-year to 479 million pounds ($662 million). Comparable store sales rose 90% from the same period last year. The retailer retained its outlook.

Richemont's sales rose 129% to 4.40 billion euro ($5.19 billion) in the June quarter.

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