Wednesday 9 January 2019 8:19 am

Ted Baker posts Christmas sales rise despite chairman harassment investigation

Ted Baker today reported double-digit sales growth over the festive period as it proved resilient to retail fears and an investigation into its founder.

The fashion brand said retail sales increased by 12.2 per cent in the five weeks to 5 January compared to the same period last year.

The growth was spurred on by strong online sales, which were up 18.7 per cent and represented more than a quarter of all retail sales.

Acting chief executive Lindsay Page said: “The Ted Baker brand has delivered a good performance across both our stores and e-commerce business, despite the continuing challenging external trading conditions across our markets.

“This result again reflects the strength of the brand and the quality of our collections.”

In December the company’s chairman and chief executive Ray Kelvin took a leave of absence amid a scandal surrounding harassment claims.

The retailer launched an investigation after staff signed a petition calling for an end to a culture of “forced hugs” and unwanted attention from Kelvin.

Ted Baker today said the external probe, conducted by Herbert Smith Freehills, is progressing and a further update will be made in due course.

The FTSE 250 firm is the latest retailer to defy high street worries by posting strong sales over the festive period. Shares in Ted Baker were up more than seven per cent this morning.

“Against a backdrop of increased promotional activity, gross margins remain in line with our expectations for the full year and we expect to end the year with a clean stock position,” the company said.

Ted Baker reiterated its expectations for its annual results, which will be published in March.