Belfast Telegraph

Ted Baker sales rise despite 'challenging trading conditions'

Fashion chain Ted Baker has brushed aside tough trading conditions to post double-digit sales growth, but stressed Christmas would be crucial for the business.

Total sales rose 14.8% in the 13 weeks to November 12, with retail and wholesale sales rising 15.4% and 13.2% respectively.

Founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin said: "The reaction to our collections has been very encouraging, however, the group's full-year results will, as always, be dependent on trading conditions over the important Christmas period."

He added: "The brand continues to perform well despite challenging trading conditions and we remain focused on the long-term development of Ted Baker as a global lifestyle brand."

The company has charged forward with international expansion, opening stores in Atlanta, Miami and Calgary, and launched concessions in premium department stores in China, Germany, Japan and Spain.

Online sales grew 30% over the third quarter, now accounting for 15.6% of total retail sales.

Ted Baker cheered performance of its wholesale business, which was driven by its UK and North American operations, and is now predicting low double-digit full-year sales growth for the division.

Ted Baker shares rose nearly 2% after the update.

Its stock has plunged nearly 30% over the past year on fears over the weakness of US department stores and challenging conditions in Asia, with the declines compounded by Brexit.

Freddie George, a consumer retail analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe Research, said: "This update together with the recent interim results shows the positives of a diversified and international footprint and encouragingly there is still strong momentum in earnings despite some softness in the UK market."

Fresh data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday showed consumer spending was stronger than most analysts had predicted last month, with UK retail sales rising 1.9% in October.

Economists had been predicting a 0.5% rise.

The ONS said that the figures were aided in part by cooler temperatures, which boosted winter clothing sales.

Clothing retailers in Britain had been suffering after an unseasonally warm start to autumn.