Ted Baker bosses quit as it warns over profits

Troubled retailer Ted Baker has seen its crisis deepen after warning over profits once again and revealing the immediate departure of its chief executive and chairman.

The group said chief executive Lindsay Page – who took over from founder Ray Kelvin after he quit in March – has been replaced on an interim basis by finance director Rachel Osborne.

Ted Baker has also kicked off the search for a new chairman after David Bernstein stepped down.

Sharon Baylay has been hired as acting chair.

The resignations were announced as Ted scrapped its shareholder dividend payout and said it is now expecting annual pre-tax profits of between £5 million and £10 million after worse-than-expected trading in November and over Black Friday.

This compares with pre-tax profits of £50.9 million the previous year.

Ted Baker said the past year has been the “most challenging in our history”, while its trading troubles were laid bare as it reported a 5.5% drop in retail sales with currency effects stripped out for the 17 weeks to December 7.

It confirmed it has hired consultants Alix Partners to carry out a review of the group’s operational efficiency, costs and business model as part of an urgent recovery plan.

The firm already began a review of its assets in October, which is ongoing.

It sees Ted Baker’s woes worsen after bosses last week revealed they had uncovered that the group’s inventory had been overstated by between £20 million and £25 million, sparking another shares tumble.

Shares in the UK fashion firm have slid by more than 75% since January in a year which has seen it post four profit warnings.

The firm came under significant pressure after founder and chief executive Mr Kelvin resigned from the company in March following allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards staff.

Mr Kelvin had already taken a step back from activities at the business in December 2018 after allegations of misconduct involving “forced hugs” and ear-kissing. Mr Kelvin has denied any wrongdoing.

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