High-fashion retailer Burberry cut its dividend as annual profit plunged and said it expected the impact from store closures was nearing a peak, but would severely dent performance in the first quarter. 'We currently have 50% of our store network closed and we expect our first quarter (to end June 2020) to be severely impacted with store closures likely to be at or near peak for most of the quarter,' Burberry said. The company declared a full year dividend of 11.3p, down 73%, as it sought to protect its future cash position. Pre-tax profit for the year through March fell 62% to £169m as sales dropped 3% to 2.63bn, with margins down 100 basis point to 67.4%. Comparable sales fell 27% in the fourth quarter with around 60% of retail stores closed at the end of March. The company flagged a £245m hit, mainly driven by store impairments and stock provisions relating to Covid-19. 'It will take time to heal but we are encouraged by our strong rebound in some parts of Asia and are well-prepared to navigate through this period,' the company said.
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