Ted Baker half-year profits plummet

Ted Baker has posted a 193.9% drop in profits to -£23 million, but CEO Lindsay Page, said the retailer is “pro-actively managing” the significant challenges impacting the retail sector, including weak consumer spending, macro-economic uncertainty, and the accelerating channel shift towards eCommerce.

Revenue for the retailer – which has seen its fair share of controversy this year with founder Ray Kelvin resigning following allegations of misconduct – was also down 0.7% for the 28 weeks ending 10 August 2019 to 303.8 million.  Meanwhile, eCommerce sales dropped 2.5% to £214.5 million.

The licensing business also took a hit, with a 13.1% drop in income to £9.4 million.

Despite [these challenges] we have delivered a number of important strategic developments including reorganising our Asia operations to drive long term growth, integrating the acquired footwear business and signing an important new product licence partnership for childrenswear. Our Autumn/Winter collections have been well received and we are excited about our new product initiatives including monthly product drops and speed to market developments,” said Page.

“We remain actively focussed on cost control and driving further efficiencies. Despite the structural challenges and cyclical pressures on the industry, we remain confident in Ted Baker's ability to navigate the market and further develop as a global lifestyle brand. This confidence remains underpinned by the group's flexible, omnichannel model, the continuing strength of the brand, and the skill, passion and commitment of our talented teams worldwide.”

But Andrew Howell, head of marketing, omnichannel solutions at Valitor, said the Ted Baker brand had “lost its identity and meaning”.

He said: “Couple this with its diminished physical footprint following the closure of a number of its concession stores and it is no surprise that investors are worried. For a business with such a well-established name and history, it is concerning to see these results, yet what should worry investors and customers more is Ted Bakers lack of focus on retaining customers. Partnerships with Shanghai LongShang Trading and Sojitz Infinity may draw in new customers but unless the brand gets back to focusing on retaining them these partnerships will likely fail.

"To survive in today’s retail environment it’s time Ted Baker faces facts, separates itself from its competitors and rediscover what it stands for."