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Retailer Ted Baker's Quarterly Sales Hit by Closures, Tepid Christmas Demand

Retailer Ted Baker's Quarterly Sales Hit by Closures, Tepid Christmas Demand

Thursday, 11 February, 2021 - 10:30
FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk past a Ted Baker store on Regents Street in London, Britain December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Ted Baker said on Thursday its fourth-quarter revenue fell 47%, hit by coronavirus-led store closures in Britain along with weak demand during Christmas, and the fashion retailer expects its UK stores to stay closed until the end of May.

The pandemic has been the latest blow for the struggling fashion retailer, which has been hit by multiple profit warnings, several management changes and an accounting scandal since founder Ray Kelvin stepped down as CEO in 2019 after misconduct allegations, which he denies.

“Trading over the fourth quarter was difficult and heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the closure of many of our stores during the period and a lack of demand for outerwear and occasionwear over the festive season in particular,” Chief Executive Officer Rachel Osborne said, Reuters reported.

Following the trade agreement between Britain and the European Union in December, the company said it expects up to 5 million pounds ($6.92 million) of incremental costs, reflecting extra duty and shipping costs, partially offset by a new customs warehouse capability.

Ted Baker, which cut 953 jobs last year to weather the pandemic, had earlier forecast a hit of around 16.1 million pounds on full-year profit under a worst-case scenario.

The company, over one-fourth of which is owned by activist investor Toscafund Asset Management while Kelvin’s stake has gradually dwindled, expects a gradual recovery and said it continues to make strong progress on its transformation program.

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