Ted Baker reports strong sales during Christmas period

Ted Baker
Ted Baker continues to perform strongly.

Ted Baker has revealed a rise in sales over the Christmas period.

The company reported a 12.2% rise in retail sales for the five weeks to 5 January and an 18.7% increase in online sales compared to the same period last year.

The FTSE 250 firm has shown resilience amid the tough trading environment as well as the controversy surrounding the group’s chairman and chief executive Ray Kelvin, who has taken a leave of absence amid harassment claims.

Ted Baker has said that it is “business as usual” whilst it undergoes an investigation into the conduct by Kelvin.

Shares in the group, which has more than 500 stores, increased over 13% on Wednesday. Ted Baker shares have fallen over 40% over 2018.

“The Ted Baker brand has delivered a good performance across both our stores and e-commerce business, despite the continuing challenging external trading conditions across our markets,” said Lindsay Page, who is the acting chief executive.

“This result again reflects the strength of the brand and the quality of our collections,” she added.

The company said in a statement: “Against a backdrop of increased promotional activity, gross margins remain in line with our expectations for the full year and we expect to end the year with a clean stock position.”

The group is facing an external investigation by Herbert Smith Freehills over the petition calling for an end to a culture of “forced hugs” from company’s chief executive. 

“It is critically important to us that every member of our staff feels valued and respected at work,” said Ted Baker in a statement following the petition.

“Ray greets many people he meets with a hug, be it a shareholder, investor, supplier, partner, customer or colleague. Hugs have become part of Ted Baker’s culture, but are absolutely not insisted upon.”

“We have very clear and robust HR policies in place to provide all employees with a wide range of reporting options for any issues that they might encounter, including a completely confidential and anonymous 24/7 helpline,” the retailer said.

Shares in Ted Baker (LON: TED) are currently trading +14.11% at 1.844,00 (1313GMT).