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Burberry to slash 540 jobs in Britain, Spain

LONDON, January 20 – British luxury clothing brand Burberry said Tuesday it planned to eliminate up to 540 jobs in Britain and Spain as the global economic slowdown takes its toll.

The company famed for its iconic trenchcoat said it would shut a sewing factory in Rotherham, northern England, and close its "underperforming" Thomas Burberry business in Spain.

"Burberry will shortly be entering a consultation process in Spain, which could lead to around 250 redundancies," the group said in a statement.

In addition, up to 290 staff will lose their jobs in England.

Burberry said in a statement that the measures would help the group to reduce annual costs by up to 35 million pounds (38 million euros, 50 million dollars).

"As we continue to evolve our business model, we have today announced further cost efficiencies," said Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts.

"These savings, coupled with our proven strategies, strong brand perception and conservative balance sheet position us to trade through the current difficult environment and emerge even stronger when the global economy recovers," she added in the group statement.

Burberry also announced that its underlying revenue rose by nine percent during the three months to December 31, 2008.

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