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Ted Baker tops fashion stakes with a 25% sales rise

By Roger Baird

Fashion retailer Ted Baker said strong demand in Britain and North America boosted half-year sales by almost a quarter.

The firm, which has more than 416 stores and concessions worldwide, said group sales lifted 24.5% in the 28 weeks to August 15 compared to a year ago as it opened new outlets in the UK, Canada and Europe.

It has one store in Northern Ire

land, in Belfast's Victoria Square.

The business, which has branched out from selling colourful shirts to include menswear, womenswear and fragrances, posted a 14.6% hike in first half pre-tax profits to £17.8m.

It said retail sales in the UK and Europe increased 14.7% to £120.9m, "reflecting a strong performance in our established UK market and a very good performance in continental Europe where we continue to expand".

It also opened a shop in London's trendy Spitalfields to showcase its range of licensed products. The firm operates 184 stores in the UK. In the US its retail division increased by 37.4% to £39.7m as it opened a new store in Vancouver and a number of concessions in US department stores. Founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin said: "This strong performance across all channels and territories is testament to the growing strength of Ted Baker as a leading global lifestyle brand."

However, the group added that sales in August were impacted by unseasonable weather in the US and the effects of a strong dollar and a weak euro.

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