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Ted Baker performs ahead of expectations

Ted Baker has reported an 18.4% drop in pre-tax profits to £6m over the 28 weeks to August 15 - a better than expected performance.

The premium brand said that the UK arm of the business drove the overall group’s performance but it was offset by trade in its overseas markets, where conditions remained tough.

Total retail sales rose 15% to £61.3m on average selling space up 16.1%. Retail gross margin was 63.9%. Group revenue rose 7% to £76.6m. The retail arm represents 80% of total turnover. In the UK and Europe, sales rose 16.6% to £56.1m.

Wholesale sales dropped 16.3% to £15.3 due in part to the transfer of some wholesale accounts to retail concessions and the closure of others which Ted Baker said did not fit in with the brand. Wholesale gross margins were 41.6%.

Licence income for the period was £2.5m versus £2.9m in the same period last year, but 4.8% ahead of last year excluding the impact of North American licence partner Hartmarx, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.

Ted Baker said that it had seen “good performances” from its licensed childrenswear collection with Debenhams.

Sales at Ted Baker womenswear rose 17.9% to £36.9m. Womenswear represents 48.2% of total sales.

Ted Baker menswear sales dropped 1.5% to £39.7m to represent 51.8% of total sales.

Ted Baker added that reaction to the launch of its lower-priced Born range in August has been “positive”.

Founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin said: “The group’s performance in the first half of the year has been better than expected given the difficult trading environment. This trend has continued into the second half and whilst we remain cautious, given the uncertain economic outlook, the initial reactions to our autumn/ winter collections have been encouraging.”

Kelvin added: “We continue to benefit from our multi-channel distribution strategy and this, coupled with the strength of the Ted Baker brand and the support of our strong balance sheet, means we remain well placed to invest in the long term development of our business.”

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