Revived Burberry Set to Join FTSE 100

Burberry (BRBY.L) is poised to enter the FTSE 100 for the first time, in a further sign of its revival under chief executive Angela Ahrendts, who took the helm in July 2006.

The luxury fashion retailer, best known for its check patterns, is set to join the London Stock Exchange's premier listing tomorrow, following the move by the media group Thomson Reuters (TRI) to end its London listing.

Burberry, which listed seven years ago, has been transformed over recent years into an aspirational global label after struggling, partly through the brand's association with certain British soap opera stars who dressed themselves, their children and their dogs in the brand's iconic check.

Ms. Ahrendts has overseen an overhaul of its global operations, supply chain and IT systems.

The fashion label, which has retail, licensing and wholesale businesses, has traded resiliently during the downturn. Total global revenues fell by 4 per cent in the three months to 30 June, but underlying retail revenues grew by 12 per cent over the period, and its like-for-like store sales—which strip out the impact of new space—were flat compared with the year before.

While its retail revenue growth in Europe and Asia was in double digits, Burberry warned that the U.S. and Spain markets remained tough.

At the time of its first-quarter trading statement in July, Ms. Ahrendts said: "Burberry has made a solid start to the year in what remains a challenging environment. Our brand momentum, strong product designs and continuing back-of-house improvements mean that we are well-placed to deliver sustainable long-term growth."

This year, shares in Burberry have soared from 220.3p to close at 508p yesterday.

The analyst company Numis Securities has forecast that Burberry will deliver full-year 2010 pre-tax profits of £178.8m, up from £174.6m in 2009.

The Numis analyst Nick Coulter said: "Burberry remains a compelling medium-term growth story, benefiting from an under-penetrated brand, a coherent strategy to extend the breadth and depth of its offer, and a programme of ongoing self-help measures that have protected its earnings from the worst of the global slowdown."

In this week's stock market reshuffle, the pest control company Rentokil Initial and the property investment and letting group Segro are also set to join the FTSE 100, while the utilities company Pennon and the financial services specialist Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust are expected to exit.

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