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Ted Baker smashes forecasts

City A.M. Reporter
Designer brand Ted Baker said trading was exceeding its hopes and reaction to its autumn and winter ranges had been &ldquo;encouraging&rdquo;, as it posted a better than feared fall in first-half profit, sending its shares higher.<br /><br />Analysts upgraded pre-tax profit forecasts for the year to the end of January 2010 and finance director Lindsay Page said he had not given up hope of matching the previous year&rsquo;s outcome of &pound;19.6m.<br /><br />&ldquo;Anything&rsquo;s possible. I&rsquo;m not projecting that at the moment, but we&rsquo;re certainly going through better than we anticipated when we started the year,&rdquo; Page said.<br /><br />&ldquo;There&rsquo;s still a lot to do, there&rsquo;s still Christmas to come,&rdquo; he added. Ted Baker said pre-tax profit fell 18.4 per cent to &pound;6m in the 28 weeks to 15 August, on revenue up seven per cent to &pound;76.6m.<br /><br />The profit fall came as a 16.3 percent fall in wholesale sales more than offset a 15 per cent increase in retail sales.<br /><br />The wholesale outcome reflected Ted Baker&rsquo;s strategy of transferring wholesale accounts to retail concessions, the closure of accounts deemed unsuitable for the brand, and the difficult trading conditions experienced by some wholesale customers as the recession continued.