Freddie George Comments: Ted Baker in vogue after boosting festive sales

 January 13, 2016, Proactive Investors UK

Shares in Ted Baker (LON:TED) were in vogue on Wednesday after the upmarket fashion brand said sales rose by more than a tenth in the run-up to Christmas. 

The stock rose 149p, or 5.5%, to 2849p after Ted said sales in the eight weeks between November 15 and January 9 increased by 10.1%, or 10.6% at constant currencies, against the same period a year ago. 

The group said it achieved the rise without any significant promotional activity before Christmas and it expected to end the year with a clean stock position. Gross margins met expectations. 

Expansion continued during the period with more concessions in the UK, France and Spain and a new store opening in California. 

Licence partner openings included a new outlet in each of Melbourne and Sydney, a new store in Saudi Arabia and a new concession in Mexico. 

Its online business did well, with sales increasing 39.1%, which Ted said reflected a good performance across all of the group’s websites. 

The chain said it expected annual results for the year to January 30, which it is due to unveil on March 17, to be in line with its expectations. 

Founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin said: "The Ted Baker brand has performed well over the Christmas period against a tough trading backdrop. 

"We continue to invest across international markets for the further development of Ted Baker as a global lifestyle brand." 

The City is likely to see the update as a welcome contrast with those issued by the likes of Next and Marks & Spencer, which both blamed mild weather for lacklustre clothing sales. 

Cantor Fitzgerald’s retail analyst Freddie George said: "The trading update was marginally behind our expectations, probably because figures were impacted by the mild weather in the UK. 

"The stock, however, has seen some profit taking over the last month, is now more fairly valued and we continue to believe forecasts will not disappoint over the medium term. 

"We are maintaining our ‘buy’ recommendation and our target price of 3500p."