Upscale fashion and leather goods firm Burberry Group Plc on Tuesday announced its chief operating and financial officer, Michael Metcalf, is to quit in order to look for new opportunities outside of the company.

The group said in a short statement 51-year-old Metcalf will stand down at the end of next March. He has held his current position since August 1998.

Burberry chief executive, Rose Marie Bravo, said: "We will be sorry to see Mike go but we respect both his decision and the thoughtfulness with which he is orchestrating his departure."