Digital investment pays off for Ted Baker

Digital investment pays off for Ted Baker

Ted Baker is seeing its investment into its digital operations pay off after posting a leap in annual profits as online sales surged.

The retailer - which has 448 stores and concessions worldwide including 185 in the UK - said underlying pre-tax profits rose by 18.6% to £58.7m in the year to 30 January.

Sales rose 8.9% across the UK and Europe, or 10.7% with currency movements stripped out, while online sales jumped 40.5% to £46.8m across the region.

Ted Baker secured the sales hike despite last year's unusually warm weather in the run up to Christmas, which hit many of its clothing rivals.

It said in January that festive sales rose 10.1% as it was able to hold off from the significant discounting seen elsewhere on the high street.

Ted Baker - which branched out from selling colourful shirts to include menswear, womenswear and fragrances -  added in its annual results that its latest springsummer collections have also been well received.

But it said the group has not been immune to the woes in Asia where the China slowdown has been impacting trading and continues to be "challenging".

Ray Kelvin, founder and chief executive of Ted Baker, said: "We have again traded very well - despite an uncertain backdrop in some of our markets - which is testament to the strength of the Ted Baker brand."

On trading since its year-end, he added: "We are pleased by the initial reaction to our springsummer collections, which has been positive. Trading is in line with our expectations, with the exception of Asia."

The group expanded worldwide over the past year, while also opening its first stores in Amsterdam, Azerbaijan, Hawaii, Mexico and Qatar.

It plans to add extra outlets over the new financial year and further grow burgeoning online sales, which now account for 15.4% of retail turnover.

Ted Baker was set up by Mr Kelvin as a shirt specialist in a single Glasgow s tore in 1988.