UK: Ted Baker cautious despite 5.4% H1 profit rise
Clothing-led lifestyle brand company Ted Baker Plc says it is "understandably cautious" about future trading despite reporting a 5.4% rise in first-half pre-tax profit to GBP7.4m (US$13m).
The UK business reported a strong performance from its retail division in the 28 weeks to 9 August, with sales up 17.5% to GBP53.3m, but wholesale revenues dipped 12.1% to GBP18.3m.
Group revenues were up 8.2% to GBP71.6m, boosted by strong growth in licence income, which leapt 26.1% to GBP2.9m. This included a full period of contribution from Ted Baker's licensed children's wear collection in Debenhams.
The company's operating profit was up 2% to GBP7.3m, while its pre-tax profit rose 5.4% to GBP7.4m.
"The strength of the Ted Baker brand, combined with our successful multi-channel distribution strategy and careful international expansion, has enabled us to deliver good growth for the period in an unpredictable market," said Ted Baker founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin.
"The board is, however, mindful of the uncertain economic environment and we remain understandably cautious about trading in the second half of the year."
Ted Baker said the decline in wholesale revenues reflected the difficulties of some wholesale customers, as well as the transfer of some wholesale accounts to retail concessions and exiting accounts which were deemed no longer suitable for the brand.
Ted Baker Menswear sales were up 6.9% to GBP38.9m, while the brand's Womenswear revenues increased 12.6% to GBP30.3m.
UK and Europe retail sales increased 18.5% to GBP48.1m. The US was described as "satisfactory", with a sales rise of 9.4% to GBP10.5m, while the Middle East and Asia performed in line with company expectations.
Ted Baker said retail trading at the start of the second half had continued in line with recent trends, although the last two weeks had been hit by further economic uncertainty and unseasonably warm weather.
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