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Ted Baker posts healthy sales

Ted Baker's sales rose 8.3% to £66.2m for the first half of the year, boosted by strong performances from the stores and licensing operations. However wholesale sales continued to fall.

Profit-before-tax was almost flat, up 0.7% to £7 million for the 28 weeks to August 11. The company said this was higher than expected due to a shift in profit phasing from the first to the second half of the year.

Sales at stores were up 15.1% to £45.4m. Wholesale sales dropped 4.1% to £20.8m. Ted Baker said this was as anticipated and was affected by challenging conditions faced by its wholesale customers, the transfer of some wholesale accounts to concessions and streamlining its wholesale distribution.

However, wholesale sales continued to fall in the second half, with sales for the seven weeks to September 29 down 5.3%. Retail sales for the period were up 12.5%.

The company said it would "continue to monitor the profile of wholesale customers to ensure that it remains appropriate to the brand".

Income from the licensing operation grew 27.8% to £2.3m. Ted Baker will launch two mobile phones in collaboration with Carphone Warehouse next month.

Womenswear sales grew 10.7% to £26.9m for the first half, while menswear rose 7% to £36.4m.

The company added 6.4% of space to its retail portfolio during the period.

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