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Ted Baker shares jump as fashion retailer unveils solid Christmas sales

Ted Baker maintained its guidance for the year to January 26 as it expects to end the period with a clean stock position and gross margins in line with estimates.
Ted Baker
Shares rose 8% in morning trading

Ted Baker PLC (LON:TED) shares jumped on Wednesday as the fashion label unveiled a solid Christmas trading update despite a difficult retail market.

Retail sales in the five weeks to January 5 rose 12.2%, or 10.5% at constant currency. E-commerce sales gained 18.7%, or 17.7% in constant currency, and accounted for 25.7% of total retail sales.

The retailer expanded during the period with the average retail square footage up 5% to 429,576.

Ted Baker maintained its guidance for the year to January 26 as it expects to end the period with a clean stock position and gross margins in line with estimates.

READ: Ted Baker boss Ray Kelvin to take voluntary leave of absence while allegations about conduct investigated

Ted Baker boss sexual harassment probe

The trading update comes amid an investigation into Ted Baker founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin over allegations of sexual harassment. Kelvin has taken a voluntary leave of absence while the claims are investigated by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

Chief operating officer and chief financial officer Lindsay Page has stepped up to lead the company until the matter is resolved.

In Wednesday’s trading update, 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.”

Shares rose 8.2% to 1,750p in morning trading.

Liberum repeats 'buy' recommendation 

Liberum maintained a ‘buy’ rating on the stock with a target price of 3,100p, saying the company’s “flexible retail model and strong proposition” drove robust traffic online as well as footfall dynamics over the period.

“A strong result considering the market backdrop which places Ted Baker in a very distinct group of companies and raises the question as to why TED’s shares have de-rated 39% over the past 12 months,” it said.

“The current 12 month forward PER of 11.8x is just too low for such a high quality business and with fwd EPS near a 5-year high but PE is at a near 5-year trough, is unfair in our view.”

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