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Confident Ted Baker delivers strong H1, second half starts well

UK fashion retailer Ted Baker gave a confident outlook Thursday after saying it saw strong performances across its global markets as H1 profits and revenues impressed. The retailer also noted that its H2 had “started well” with a good performance from its autumn/winter collections “despite unusually warm weather in September”. Pre-tax profit for the 28 weeks to August 9 leapt 33.8% to £15.6m ($25.5m) while pre-tax profit before exceptional items lifted 24.2% to £14.4m.

Revenue rose 17.4% to £182.2m with retail sales, including e-commerce, up 14.8% to £140m on a 9.9% increase in average square footage. Online sales alone leapt 48.9% to £14m.

UK and European retail sales rose 15.1% to £105.4m with North America rising 13.8% to £28.9m and Asia up 16% to £5.8m.

It said womenswear “performed very well” with sales up 19.2% to £106.9m as menswear sales increased 15% to £75.3m. “We are very pleased with the positive reactions to the collections both in the UK and internationally,” the retailer added.

Womenswear represented 58.7% of total sales, up from 57.8% a year ago with menswear slightly down to 41.3% of total sales from 42.2% last time.

Retail gross margin slipped to 64% from 64.7% a year ago, largely reflecting an increase in outlet sales as a proportion of total sales, it noted.

Wholesale sales rose 26.8% to £42.1m as license income jumped 37.1% to £5.5m.

On the expansion front, Ted Baker said it plans to open two new stores in the UK; a new store and outlet store in France; a new store and outlet in the US; as well as further department store concessions across the US, Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, licensee stores will open in Dubai, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

Chief executive Ray Kelvin said: “We have successfully opened new space in our international markets, with further planned for the second half of the year in line with our strategy.”

Ted Baker operates 381 stores and concessions worldwide, comprising of 183 in the UK, 77 in Europe, 67 in the US and Canada, 47 in the Middle East and Asia and seven in Australasia.

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