Jan 9, 2019
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Ted Baker Christmas trading proves strong, despite market challenges

Jan 9, 2019

Ted Baker enjoyed healthy trading over the Christmas period, the retailer said on Wednesday, but its biggest strength was its e-commerce operations as physical stores growth went nowhere near to matching the dynamic e-tail performance.

Ted Baker

Not that the stores were weak. In the five weeks to January 5, retail store sales rose 12.2%, or 10.5% on a constant currency basis with retail square footage up 5%. Meanwhile e-commerce powered ahead by as much as 18.7% (or 17.7% constant currency). The firm’s web sales accounted for 25.7% of its total turnover in the period, rising from 24.3% a year ago.

All of that sounds good, but there were clearly some challenges and the firm said that it faced “a backdrop of increased promotional activity,” although “gross margins remain in line with our expectations for the full year and we expect to end the year with a clean stock position.” It added that annual results (the 52 weeks to January 26) will also be in line with its expectations.

Those results will be out on March 21 and the company had little more to say on Wednesday with acting CEO Lindsay Page (remember, CEO Ray Kelvin has stepped back temporarily while the ‘hug-gate’ investigation goes on) adding little to fill out the picture.

“The Ted Baker brand has delivered a good performance across both our stores and e-commerce business, despite the continuing challenging external trading conditions across our markets,” he said. “This result again reflects the strength of the brand and the quality of our collections.”

Frustrating though the lack of information is, it’s hardly a surprise as Ted Baker isn’t known for sharing insights it really doesn’t have to.

The company did say that it completed its purchase of No Ordinary Shoes Limited and No Ordinary Shoes USA for £20.3 million at the start of this year and sees it as “an exciting opportunity to drive further growth in our footwear business by leveraging our global footprint and well invested infrastructure.” The acquisition is expected to enhance the firm’s earnings in FY2019/20 and beyond.

And hug-gate? There was no real news on that. The company added that “the work of the independent external investigation conducted by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in respect of the recent media reports and petition is progressing and a further update will be made in due course.”

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