Clothing & Shoes

Ted Baker bosses depart as it warns of profits drop

Ted Baker has confirmed its CEO Lyndsay Page has resigned and chairman David Bernstein is to step down from their roles, on the same day that the embattled clothing retailer also issued a profit warning.

In a trading update for its full year, the company said expectations for the period ending 25 January 2020 have been reduced to a minimum profit before tax of £5m, with a potential outcome of up to £10m “dependent on Christmas trading and final year-end review”.

It added that trading over November and the Black Friday period was below expectations, with lower than anticipated margins and sell through.

The clothing retailer said that it “anticipates” difficult trading conditions will continue, and will therefore take a “more cautious outlook” for the remainder of the financial year, which includes the key trading months of December 2019 and January 2020.

Page, who only took up his role in April of this year after its founder Ray Kelvin was forced to resign amid allegations of improper conduct and harassment, will be replaced on an interim basis by current chief financial officer Rachel Osbourne. Page will also assist during the transition with the process to find a permanent successor set for January 2020.

Replacing Bernstein in the role of acting chair of the board is non-executive director Sharon Baylay. The process to find a permanent replacement is already underway.

In the update, the company stated: “The last 12 months has undoubtedly been the most challenging in our history, yet the Ted Baker brand remains well supported by our customers, partners and trustees and we appreciate their ongoing support.

“We are taking the necessary immediate actions to address underperformance and improve efficiencies across the wider Group and are confident that these will return the Group to a stronger position and continue the Brand’s long-term development.”

The news comes only a week after the company’s board estimated the value of inventory on its balance sheet has been overstated by £20m to £25m, according to a “preliminary analysis”.

Yesterday (9 December 2019) Ted Baker confirmed it had appointed ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm Deloitte to probe into the accounting blunder.

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