Ted Baker profit boosted by new stores
Ted Baker's full-year profit rose by nearly a fifth due to strong demand for its offbeat fashions and the opening of stores from Mexico to the Middle East, setting the British clothing retailer apart from its rivals in a competitive market.
The company said on Thursday that initial reaction to its latest spring and summer collections had also been "positive".
Established British clothing retailers are engaged in a fierce battle with fast-fashion brands such as Inditex's Zara and the trendsetting designs of the likes of Reiss and Whistles.
Next and Marks and Spencer Group have attributed disappointing sales to an unusually mild winter, while French Connection's sales were hit by a lukewarm response to its spring collection.
Ted Baker's dresses, suits and shirts, often sporting quirky details such as flowery collars and polka-dotted sleeves, have helped it to stand out from rivals in Britain and, increasingly, overseas.
"Americans have quite a good term. They see us as a 'bridge-brand'," Finance Director Charles Anderson told Reuters. "By that they mean we are not high street, we are not luxury, we are somewhere in between."
Ted Baker's stock has more than tripled in the last five years. At a multiple of 26.9 times its 12-month forward earnings, it trades at a premium to most of its peers, according to Thomson Reuters data.
On Thursday, Ted Baker's shares fell 1.3pc to 2912p by 10.35am, in line with a wider decline of the FTSE 350 General Retailers Index.
Ted Baker, which opened its first store in Glasgow in 1988, has outlets in more than 35 countries. The company has its own in-house team of designers, headed by Ray Kelvin, its founder and chief executive.
For the year ended January 30, Ted Baker's profit before tax and exceptional items rose 18.6pc to £58.7m.
Revenue increased 17.7pc to £456.2m for the same period, during which the company opened its first stores in Amsterdam, Azerbaijan, Hawaii, Mexico and Qatar.
The company raised its total dividend to 47.8p from 40.3p.