Belfast Telegraph

Ted Baker books rise in half-year profit

The retailer booked a 14% rise in revenue to £295.7 million and a 17.8% increase in pre-tax profit to £25.3 million in the six months to August 12.

Fashion chain Ted Baker posted a rise in sales and profits for the first half of the year amid what it described as “challenging” trading conditions.

The retailer booked a 14% rise in revenue to £295.7 million and a 17.8% increase in pre-tax profit to £25.3 million in the six months to August 12.

Retail sales grew 9.2% on a constant currency basis to £217.7 million, while online sales increased 40.7% to £42.7 million and wholesale revenues rose 10.2% to £78 million.

Chief executive Ray Kelvin said: “Whilst trading conditions in some of our markets remain challenging, we are confident of making further progress for the full year, in line with our expectations.”

In the US, Ted Baker pointed to “higher levels of competitor promotional activity” and lower international tourism, which it said dented sales.

Nevertheless, the firm added that it remains confident enough to expand further in the country, with new stores opening in Houston and Los Angeles during the period.

In the UK, since the Brexit vote triggered the pound’s collapse, retailers have been grappling with a double whammy of rising import costs for goods and rapidly deteriorating consumer confidence.

Inflation is outstripping wage growth and hard-pressed shoppers are cutting back on spending.

But in January, Mr Kelvin vowed shoppers will not be subjected to price hikes this year with the combination of hedging against currency fluctuations and a dollar-denominated income from its US operations helping to mitigate the collapse in sterling following the Brexit vote.

Ahead of last year’s referendum, Ted Baker extended its hedging arrangements to April 2018, giving it an extra breathing space compared to other retailers.

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