Mar 23, 2017
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Ted Baker triumph sees surge in UK, Europe, US and online, targets Asia growth

Mar 23, 2017

Next may have had bad news for the year to the end of January on Thursday morning but Ted Baker was almost nothing but upbeat after its own full-year report showed another 12-month triumph.

Ted Baker powered ahead in 2016

If you don’t like numbers, you may want to look away now. But sticking with it would be a great lesson in just how strong a results statement can be even during tough times.

Group revenue rose 16.4% to £531m, or a still-healthy 10.8% currency-neutral, while pre-tax profit rose 12.1% to £65.8m. Retail sales rose 15% (9.2% currency-neutral) to £400.7m, with UK and Europe retail sales up 10.7% (8.4% currency-neutral) to £279.5m.

But the really big numbers came from the US and Canada where retail sales soared 28.3% to £103.4m on the back of currency effects. Although they only rose 13% currency-neutral, that was still the kind of figure that many retailers would envy.

And the firm also outperformed online, with e-tail sales up 35.1% (32.3% currency-neutral) to £72.3m. Licence income rose 26.8% to £18.2m and wholesale also rose strongly. Despite many firms cutting down on their wholesale ops  to focus on retail, it remains important for Ted Baker and was up by 20.9% (15.9% currency-neutral) to £130.3m. It expects further growth in high-single-digits for wholesale this year.

CEO Ray Kelvin was understandably upbeat, saying: “We have continued to trade well and develop despite a backdrop of ongoing external challenges across our global markets. Our spring/summer collections have been well received and we have a clear strategy for continued growth across both established and newer markets.”

Ted Baker is growing strongly abroad as well as in the UK

So was there anything bad in the report? Well, non like-for-like sales figure was given and the company said that “trading across our markets continues to be impacted by ongoing external factors.”

Non-executive chairman David Bernstein said the company has seen increased levels of promotional activity and a fall in international tourism in North America, while the trading environment continued to be challenging in Asia.

But Ted Baker still continued its geographic expansion with openings across the UK and Europe, North America and Asia last year.

So what is planned for 2017? In the UK and Europe, it will open a new store in Paris and one in Oxford, an outlet in Gloucester and its first Dutch outlet in Roermond, along with further concessions in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands.  It will also continue to invest in its e-commerce sites “to enhance customer experience.”

For North America, it is planning to open stores in Los Angeles and Houston, and relocate its Miami Aventura store while opening new concessions in Canada “with a premium department store.”

In Asia, the company said it remains “focused on building brand awareness, where we are still in the relatively early stages of investment.” It has relocated a store in Tokyo and plans to open a further store in Shanghai plus new concessions in Japan and South Korea.

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