Belfast Telegraph

Ted Baker sees profits jump higher, but warns of spring sales chill

The group said unseasonable weather in the UK and America had knocked recent trading.

Fashion chain Ted Baker has warned of a Beast from the East hit to spring sales, but posted a hike in annual profits after shrugging off the tough trading conditions hammering rivals.

The group said unseasonable weather across the UK and Europe – as well as on the east coast of America – had knocked recent trading and warned over “challenging” conditions in many of its global markets.

But annual results revealed a rare dose of good news from the beleaguered retail sector as Ted Baker posted a 12.3% surge in pre-tax profits to £68.8 million for the year to January 27.

Retail sales across the UK and Europe lifted 6.4% with currency effects stripped out as a 34.7% surge in online revenues offset ongoing pressure on its high street outlets – which suffered a 1.4% fall.

Ted Baker founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin cheered another year of “continued progress” as the group opened more stores in the UK and internationally.

While the chain said the spring selling season had been hampered by the recent snow storms and freezing weather in Europe, it put faith in its collections to deliver another year of growth.

It said: “The recent unseasonal weather across Europe and the east coast of America has had an impact on the early part of trading for spring/summer and we anticipate that external trading conditions will remain challenging across many of our global markets.

“However, the new season collections have been well received and the strength of our brand and business model mean that we remain well positioned to continue the group’s momentum.”

Ted Baker now has 532 stores and concessions worldwide, including 195 in the UK, 113 in Europe, 127 in North America, 88 in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and nine in Australasia.

While global retail sales lifted 8.5% on a constant currency basis, wholesale revenues were another bright spot, up 14.6%, while licence income rose 17.6% to £21.4 million.

It said it expects further growth in the wholesale division, which should drive high single-digit sales growth in constant currency over the year ahead.

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