Shares in Ted Baker were decidedly passé with investors this morning after a warning over softer trading in August overshadowed a 15 per cent leap in first half pre-tax profits.
The fashion retailer, which has 416 stores, concessions and outlets across the world, said sales in August were hit by a number of “external factors”, including washout weather in the UK.
However, trading picked up again in September: its Autumn / Winter ranges have been well received, it added.
Shares in the FTSE 250-listed company fell as much as four per cent in early trading, hovering at 3,169p.
Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson said: “We are used to Ted delivering double-digit like-for-like sales growth through all weathers, regardless of the sector backdrop.”
“We were therefore slightly surprised to see comments regarding a softer August due to external factors, notably currency and weather, although trading has picked up into September and we see no concerns for full year expectations,” Stevenson said.
The drop in shares came in spite of the company reporting a 14.6 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £17.8m for the 28 weeks to 15 August.
Group revenue rose 24.5 per cent £226.8m, ahead of analyst expectations, while retail sales including e-commerce were up 20.1 per cent to £168.2m.
Wholesale sales were 39.1 per cent above the same period last year at £58.6m.
Ted Baker, which was set up by chief executive Ray Kelvin in Glasgow in 1988, has been pressing ahead with ambitious expansion plans outside of the UK, which now accounts for less than half of its store estate.
Retail sales in North America, where it has 79 stores, was the biggest driver of growth over the last six months, with retail sales up 37.4 per cent to £39.7m.
In the UK and Europe, retail sales increased 14.7 per cent to £120.9m while in Asia, still the smallest part of the business, sales rose 31 per cent to £7.6m
It opened stores in Canada and Hong Kong in the period as well as franchises in countries including Azerbaijan, Dubai, Taiwan and Thailand.
Kelvin said: “This strong performance across all channels and territories is testament to the growing strength of Ted Baker as a leading global lifestyle brand.
“Through the passion of our team, supported by on-going and careful investment in the brand, we continue to attract customers both in the UK and overseas, who recognise our unwavering focus on quality, design and attention to detail.”