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Formalwear boosts profits at Ted Baker

Strong sales of formalwear at Ted Baker helped drive a 25% increase in first half-profits as customers looked for smarter products during the downturn.

The lifestyle company’s pre-tax profits rose 24.6% to £7.5m during the 28-week period to August 14. Ted Baker chief executive Ray Kelvin said formalwear in both menswear and womenswear had performed “very well”. He said: “People are dressing smarter and want quality products. It’s been doom and gloom and people want to dress up.”

Group revenues rose 15% to £88.1m during the period and within that womenswear sales were up 17.3% to £43.3m and represented 49.1% of total sales. Menswear sales increased 12.8% to £44.8m and accounted for 50.9% of total sales.

Retail sales jumped 17.2% during the period, comprising a 14.4% increase in sales to £64.2m in the UK and Europe and a 20% rise in retail sales to $9.6m (£6m) in the US.

Wholesale sales grew 6.3% to £16.2m over the 28 weeks. The growth was attributed to an “encouraging” start to Ted Baker’s US wholesale business, which launched 15 years ago and has 100 accounts.

Total UK wholesale sales dropped to £14.9m from £15.3m the previous year due to some wholesale accounts being transferred to company-owned concessions.

However, underlying UK wholesale sales were 2.5% above the same period last year and in line with expectations.

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