Ted Baker bucking the trend as designer’s global growth goes on

Ted Baker continued to defy the gloom surrounding the retail sector yesterday as its global expansion helped deliver another surge in sales and profits.

The designer brand, which has 179 stores in the UK, including concessions, said retail sales were up 15.4 per cent in the 28 weeks to August 11 as it increased average retail square footage by 12.6 per cent, after opening stores in London, New York and Tokyo.

The upbeat performance, which implies like-for-like sales growth of around 3 per cent, comes as retailers in the UK feel the pressure from the tough economic climate and an ongoing squeeze on consumer spending.

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The group revealed a 10.4 per cent increase in underlying pre-tax profits to £9.4m in the half-year period as total revenues rose to £118.6m from £102.8m.

Founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin said: “We have delivered good results in a challenging environment while making important investments for the long-term development of the brand, including opening new stores in Tokyo and on Fifth Avenue, New York.”

The group said UK and European retail sales rose 8 per cent to £74.7m, while the US saw growth of 53 per cent to £15.9m.

Womenswear was a strong performer with sales up 24.5 per cent at £66.1m, representing 55.7 per cent of total sales, although more womenswear space was added in the period. Menswear sales were up 5.7 per cent to £52.5m.

Ted Baker, which started as a shirt store in Glasgow in 1988, said its wholesale division grew sales by 15 per cent to £24.9m, driven by both the UK and US.

Looking ahead, the group said the strong first half performance had continued into the second half as the planned expansion into international markets continues.

In Europe, the designer will open new concessions in department stores across Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands, while new stores are planned for New York and Toronto.

There was cheer for investors as the group unveiled a 10.5 per cent rise in the interim dividend to 7.9p per share.

Sanjay Vidyarthi, analyst at Espirito Santo Investment Bank, said: “Ted remains one of our top picks in the sector.”