Wednesday 16 October 2019

Ted Baker shares in record slump after profit and trading warning

Slump: Fashion house expects pre-tax profit to be up to £13m below its previous estimate
Slump: Fashion house expects pre-tax profit to be up to £13m below its previous estimate
Trading: Ongoing consumer sentiment is difficult, says company

John J. Edwards III

Fashion house Ted Baker's shares fell the most ever after warning that markdowns and "extremely difficult trading conditions" will hurt its results, another setback for the UK retailer reeling from a scandal over its founder's behaviour.

The apparel chain said it expects full-year underlying pre-tax profit to be as much as £13m (€14.6m) below a previous estimate of £63m.

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The earlier guidance had already been reduced after the company said it was hurt by adverse currency movements.

The shares fell as much as 29pc early yesterday in London - the biggest drop since they began trading in 1997.

"Ongoing consumer uncertainty in a number of key markets and elevated levels of promotional activity across our global markets have resulted in extremely difficult trading conditions during the financial year to date," Ted Baker said in a statement.

The company added that it expects those factors to keep affecting its results for the rest of the fiscal year.

Ted Baker's previous profit warning followed the resignation of founder Ray Kelvin after allegations that he gave employees unwanted hugs.

Lindsay Page was named CEO in April after filling the role in an acting role since December.

The company in April concluded an investigation of Mr Kelvin's office comportment by an outside law firm, saying it would introduce new training for employees.

Without commenting on specific allegations against Mr Kelvin, Ted Baker said it would enhance oversight of office conduct and the company culture at the board level.

Until the scandal emerged, Ted Baker was one of the UK's more resilient retailers, as rivals struggled to compete with e-commerce and Brexit.

Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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