Ted Baker, the global fashion house with Scottish roots, has shrugged off tough trading on the high street to lift half-year profits by more than a fifth, but cautioned that conditions remain “challenging”.
Founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin hailed a strong performance despite difficult trading in all its markets as the group posted a 20.5 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to £21.5 million for the six months to 13 August.
The firm – which began life in 1988 with a single store in Glasgow – notched up a 13.6 per cent rise in retail sales, up 9.6 per cent with currency movements stripped out, helped by surging online sales in the first half – up 29.7 per cent.
Kelvin said the group “continues to perform well” since the first half and is pleased with the reaction to its autumn/winter collections.
Hargreaves Lansdown analyst George Salmon said: “This is the company’s first update since Brexit, and is a strong showing in tougher trading conditions.
“The second half of the year is more important to Ted Baker than the first, nonetheless the news that sales growth remains robust provides reassurance that the group can continue to thrive, even in challenging times.”
The latest figures come amid a challenging backdrop for high-street clothing chains, with the likes of Next, John Lewis and House of Fraser taking a cautious outlook.
Ted Baker said that across the UK and Europe, where it has 283 stores and concessions, sales lifted 8.5 per cent or 6.7 per cent on a constant currency basis.
In the US and Canada, where the group has 106 stores and concessions, sales rose 18.8 per cent on a constant currency basis, while they were up by 6.5 per cent across its remaining international business.