- H1 sales jump but still down sharply vs 2019
- ‘Reasonably cautious’ about outlook – CEO
British fashion chain Ted Baker said sales were rebounding as office and party wear become popular again after the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, but signalled that the pace of recovery was still uncertain.
“We are optimistic but we’re also being reasonably cautious on outlook in the next quarter and the next year,” Chief Executive Rachel Osborne said. “For us, a full return to international tourism would really help the bounce back.”
Ted Baker, which has 377 stores and concessions with three-quarters of those located in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, said demand for formal wear, suiting and occasion wear pushed group revenue up 18% year-over-year in the 28 weeks to August 14. Loss before tax narrowed to 25.3 million pounds (US$ 34.2 million) from 86.4 million a year earlier.
The rising number of Covid-19 vaccinations in Europe and North America has encouraged many workers to return back to their offices, with Ted Baker’s revenue from North America jumping by a third. Customers looking ahead to parties and the Christmas season were also helping, Osborne said.
Group revenues were, however, still down 36% compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, suggesting a longer road to recovery.
The upmarket retailer is now half-way through a three-year turnaround that was launched by Osborne and is focused on cost cuts and boosting its online presence and product range.