Given the rapidly evolving situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Burberry Group PLC (LON:BRBY) wanted to provide an update on the steps we are taking to support our employees, our customers and our communities.
Over the past three months, we have put in place measures to help prevent the spread of the virus and ensure employee safety and wellbeing, including temporarily closing retail stores and implementing strict social distancing protocols. We have also looked beyond Burberry, dedicating resources to supporting those in need and preventing further infection. This includes turning over our trench coat factory in Castleford, UK to manufacture personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical and care workers.
While we continue to look hard at our cost base, reducing spend on non-essential areas, we have decided to take the following additional steps to support our priorities over the next few months:
· We will continue to maintain base pay for all employees who are unable to fulfil their roles because of store or site closures.
· We will not rely on government support for jobs in the UK where more than a third of our employees are based.
· Our senior leaders will take a voluntary 20% pay cut from April through June.
· The Board of Directors has agreed to a voluntary 20% reduction in their base salary and fees from April through June, with the equivalent cash amount to be donated to the Burberry Foundation COVID-19 Community Fund. The fund, which was established earlier this month for our employees to support communities in need globally, is additional to the financial donations Burberry has made to vaccine research and charities alleviating food poverty, with monies going towards procuring and distributing PPE, helping foodbanks and supporting healthcare charities around the world.
Our trench coat factory in Castleford is now manufacturing non-surgical gowns and supplying them to the UK National Health Service. We are also sourcing surgical masks through our supply chain and supplying them to the NHS and charities such as Marie Curie, which provides nursing care for families living with terminal illness in the UK. To date, we have donated more than 100,000 pieces of PPE.
Amendment to 2020 Financial Calendar
Recognising the unprecedented challenges faced by companies and their auditors in preparing audited financial statements in the current environment, we have agreed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP that we will publish our Preliminary Results for the year ended 28 March 2020 on 22 May 2020 rather than 14 May 2020. As normal, we will hold a webcast presentation and Q&A session with management on the same day.
“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our priority has been the safety and wellbeing of our employees, our customers and our communities. While we continue to take mitigating actions to contain our costs and protect our financial position, we are also committed to safeguarding jobs and supporting the relief efforts during this global health emergency. I would like to thank our teams for their continued determination and resilience as we continue Thomas Burberry’s legacy of protecting others and caring for the community.” – Marco Gobbetti, Chief Executive Officer, Burberry Group