Ted Baker sees 18.6% leap in annual profits after online sales boost


Fashion chain Ted Baker posted a leap in annual profits as online sales surged and the group opened more stores.

The retailer - which has 448 stores and concessions worldwide including 185 in the UK - said underlying pre-tax profits rose by 18.6% to £58.7 million in the year to January 30.

Sales rose 8.9% across the UK and Europe, or 10.7% with currency movements stripped out, while online sales jumped 40.5% to £46.8 million across the region.

Ted Baker secured the sales hike despite last year's unusually warm weather in the run up to Christmas, which hit many of its clothing rivals.

It said in January that festive sales rose 10.1% as it was able to hold off from the significant discounting seen elsewhere on the high street.

Ted Baker - which branched out from selling colourful shirts to include menswear, womenswear and fragrances - added in its annual results that its latest spring/summer collections have also been well received.

But it said the group has not been immune to the woes in Asia where the China slowdown has been impacting trading and continues to be "challenging".

Ray Kelvin, founder and chief executive of Ted Baker, said: "We have again traded very well - despite an uncertain backdrop in some of our markets - which is testament to the strength of the Ted Baker brand."

On trading since its year-end, he added: "We are pleased by the initial reaction to our spring/summer collections, which has been positive. Trading is in line with our expectations, with the exception of Asia."

The group expanded worldwide over the past year, while also opening its first stores in Amsterdam, Azerbaijan, Hawaii, Mexico and Qatar.

It plans to add extra outlets over the new financial year and further grow burgeoning online sales, which now account for 15.4% of retail turnover.

Retail experts at Liberum said Ted Baker has "closed another year of excellent progress".

"The company's strength is that it consistently delivers growth well head of the sector," they added.

Ted Baker was set up by Mr Kelvin as a shirt specialist in a single Glasgow store in 1988.