Ted Baker Plc has announced its group sales increased 35% year-on-year in the 12-week period from 7 November 2021 to 29 January 2022 (Q4), and up from 18% reported in Q3, despite Omicron headwinds.
Compared to pre-pandemic levels for the period, retail sales were running at -10% before Omicron warnings, falling to below 42% during the Omicron surge. However, the group said it successfully navigated the global supply chain disruptions with some “modest” impact on product availability.
Additionally, Ted Baker’s net cash at the year end is positive £3m, in line with its previously upgraded guidance, and its trading margin improved over 350 bps across all channels.
Overall, womenswear AW21 collections reportedly performed well against the target product pyramid, with “strong sales” across bags, footwear and tops, although its performance on menswear was more mixed, with sales over-indexing on core and continuity products, with strong performance on footwear.
Meanwhile, its retail sales growth rates were down 7% due to a change in the operating model relating to its Japanese and Chinese business moving from Retail to Licence and JV and from House of Fraser moving to Wholesale.
Ted Baker said footfall has remained a challenge during the period due to Omicron, but it has started to see positive signs across travel retail. Additionally, several of its product licence partners have seen “strong momentum”, with eyewear reportedly remaining a “standout category” for the group.
The group has also signed a new franchise agreement in the UK, with plans for at least three new store locations per year over the next three years, and it is in the process of recruiting for a new chair.
Rachel Osborne, CEO, said: “We continue to make good progress with our transformation and despite the impact of Omicron on the quarter, were pleased to deliver group sales up 35% compared with last year.
“The strong improvement in trading margin is encouraging, along with the increase in full price sales mix, demonstrating the progress we’re making as Ted re-establishes its premium brand positioning.”
She added: “We now have a much deeper understanding of our customers and our brand, including what they love about Ted Baker and where they see room for improvement. Building on this, we have been working hard to re-energise our product and our brand.”