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UPDATE 1-Burberry's chief designer Christopher Bailey to leave

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LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Luxury goods group Burberry said Christopher Bailey, the designer who turned the British company into a global fashion brand, will step down in March 2018.

Bailey joined Burberry in 2001, and became chief executive as well as chief creative offer in 2014. Marco Gobbetti took over as chief executive earlier this year, although Bailey retained creative control.

The company said the 46-year-old had decided it was time to pursue new projects after 17 years in which he turned a small trench coat maker into a global brand worth more than 8 billion pounds.

Burberry said Bailey would step down from his board positions of president and chief creative officer at the end of March, but would support Gobbetti on the transition until 31 December 2018.

He will receive his salary, pension and contractual cash allowance and non-cash benefits until the end of 2018, the company said on Tuesday, although no bonus would be paid for the period after March.

Shares in Burberry were trading down 0.4 percent at 19.14 pounds at 1000 GMT.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)