Ray Kelvin, founder of the fashion chain Ted Baker, is marrying his long-term girlfriend Clare this weekend and is almost more excited about that than the company's 12 per cent rise in profits last year. "I'm really excited," he exclaimed. "I've lost a lot of weight because she said I had to. And the business is going brilliant."
The wedding should go with a swing given that a 14 per cent hike in the full-year dividend to 23.4p a share means Mr Kelvin – the business's largest shareholder – picks up a cheque for £3.84 million, dwarfing his 2010 pay packet of £521,000.
Ted Baker's sales grew 15 per cent to £216m in the past financial year with headline profits at £27.1m. The strongest growth came from the US as store sales jumped almost 70 per cent to $34.9m. The 182 UK outlets increased sales by 9 per cent to £149m.
This year the group has already opened its first shop in Japan and its first concession in South Korea. It will also be opening shops on London's Brompton Road and Fifth Avenue, New York, later in the year.
Mr Kelvin said that, despite the uncertain trading background, the group's spring and summer collection has been very well received in the trade and that the new financial year had started well in all its markets.
Ted Baker celebrates its silver jubilee next year but Mr Kelvin was not prepared to reveal details of his plans to mark the event until at least his wedding celebrations are over.