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Ted Baker knocked by Xmas discounting

Ted Baker saw retail sales rise 7.2% for the period between November 1 and December 24, but the premium fashion brand said that profits would be at the lower end of market expectations because tough trading forced it into discounting before Christmas.

Ted Baker said that gross margin was down by 2.5% against the same period last year because of increased promotional activity. The 7.2% sales increase came on the back of a 17.8% increase in retail trading space to 183,031sq ft.

Ted Baker said that its profits would now be at the bottom end of market forecasts of between £19 million and £23m.

Ted Baker said it had made a strong start to the post-Christmas Sale period and that it would enter the spring season with a clean stock position.

Ted Baker chief executive Ray Kelvin said: “This is a credible performance in a very challenging market and I would like to thank the Ted Baker team for their effort and dedication.”

Kelvin added: “We expect 2009 to be a challenging year but believe that we are well placed to deal with the difficult trading environment.

“Our brand remains strong with a loyal customer base and our financial strength will allow us to continue to invest in the Ted Baker brand worldwide and to take advantage of opportunities that may arise. We remain focused on providing great products for our customers and offering the highest service levels.”

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