Ted Baker upbeat despite economic conditions

Fashion chain Ted Baker today said it was confident of overcoming tough economic conditions in the coming year as it revealed a 10% hike in annual earnings.

Fashion chain Ted Baker today said it was confident of overcoming tough economic conditions in the coming year as it revealed a 10% hike in annual earnings.

The designer brand said the response to its 2008 spring and summer ranges had so far been “encouraging” with retail sales up 16.1% in the past seven weeks.

Pre-tax profits in the year to January 26 increased from £20.1m (€25.6m) to £22.1m (€28.1m), as the firm grew revenues by 13.2% to £142.2 million, bolstered by new store openings in sites including Dublin, Ireland and Melbourne, Australia.

Founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin said the firm’s success had been built on careful expansion of the brand.

He added: “We believe the strength of the brand and our robust business model mean we are well placed to navigate the current uncertain economic outlook.

“At this early stage, we look forward to another year of growth and development of the Ted Baker brand.”

Retail sales increased 15.5% during the year with revenues from its UK and European arm up 16.7% at £93.3 million.

Trading at the division was buoyed by the opening of the company’s first standalone womenswear outlet in London’s Covent Garden.

Ted Baker also hailed a strong performance at its US retail arm, which saw sales at its eight stores jump 13.8% to $19.5m (€12.3m). It added it would continue to look at further potential store openings in America.

It also opened a further seven stores in the Middle East and Asia through licence partners in locations including Dubai, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Ted Baker said it planned to open a further seven stores this year, including outlets at the newly-opened Heathrow Terminal 5, Cheapside in the City of London, Belfast, Cambridge, Bristol and White City, London.

Ted Baker uses three main distribution channels for its brand – retail, wholesale and licensing.

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