Ted Baker is aiming to double in size within the next five years, founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin said today as the lifestyle brand rounded off another six months of steady sales and profit growth.
Group sales were up by 24.5% to £226.8m and profit before tax increased by 14.6% to £17.8m for the six months to August 15, building on a 20.4% sales increase to £387.6m and a 25.3% pre-tax profit rise to £48.8m for the year to January 31.
“It’s pretty boring really when everything’s going well,” said Kelvin.
He was keen to underline the “professional strategy” of the business, which he described as “considered” expansion of the collections, “controlled” distribution through its three main channels and “carefully managed” development of existing and new international markets.
“We have a road map for the next five years and we would hope to be double in size,” he said - a relatively conservative forecast, compared to many other retailers.
Sales have been particularly strong in the US for the first half of the year, where Ted Baker has a “good business” with the major department stores, including concessions in Bloomingdales and a wholesale partnership with Nordstrom. Sell-throughs for spring 15 were good, as are forward orders, Kelvin said.
The launch of the Canadian website in November last year performed better than expected. Next on the agenda in North America will be stores in Hawaii, Malibu and two stores in Los Angeles, as well as two new outlets in Florida and new concessions in Hawaii.
Ted Baker will also open its first concessions in Mexico with a new licence partner, and two new outlets in Australia with an existing licence partner.
Retail sales in the UK and Europe, Ted Baker’s biggest and most mature market, were up by 14.7% to £120.9m for the 28-week period. Kelvin said sales since then have been “back on track” after a tough August, which has been felt across much of the UK high street.
“It was tougher than expected but things have picked up now,” he said.
Kelvin confirmed the business has bid to buy its ‘Ugly Brown Building’ headquarters in north London, but the deal has not yet completed. “It won’t be for anything different,” he added, “we just need the space.”