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Ted Baker Q4 sales fall, warns of 5 million pound Brexit hit

By Huw Hughes

11 Feb 2021

Ted Baker has reported a 47 percent dive in Q4 revenue linked to store closures during the UK’s third lockdown.

The British fashion retailer said a fall in footfall when its stores were temporarily open and a drop in demand for outerwear and occasionwear during the Christmas period also took a toll on sales.

For the quarter ended 30 January, directly operated e-commerce sales edged up by 2 percent, which the company said reflected enhanced payment methods, improved trading mechanics and increased investment in digital media.

However, group e-commerce sales - which represented 63 percent of total retail sales compared to 33 percent a year earlier - decreased one percent.

Despite the lacklustre online sales, the brand said web traffic was up 17 percent while new customer growth increased 8 percent.

The retailer said a new e-commerce platform, which will “significantly improve functionality and flexibility” is on track for launch at the end of Q1 2021.

Wholesale and licence revenue decreased by 44 percent, reflecting “cautious ordering from store-based trustees since the beginning of Covid and Brexit related shipping delays towards the end of the period”.

Ted Baker warns of extra costs linked to Brexit

The company’s China, Hong Kong and Macau JV regions continued to see robust sales growth, up 14 percent during the period, with Mainland China up 33 percent.

The company also warned of a 5 million pound hit to its full-year revenues linked to Brexit and new extra duty and shipping costs, partially offset by a new customs warehouse capability.

CEO Rachel Osborne described the quarter as “difficult and heavily impacted by the Covid pandemic”, but said she was encouraged by the company’s “strong progress” on its transformation programme.

“Looking forward, we are taking a cautious planning approach and now assume that UK stores will remain closed until the end of May followed by a gradual recovery over the rest of the first half,” she said.

Ted Baker’s net available liquidity at the end of the quarter was 199.7 million pounds comprising 66.7 million pounds of cash and 133 million pounds of bank facilities. The group did not draw on any bank facilities during the period.

Photo credit: Ted Baker