Ted Baker's new headquarters eat into profits

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The Independent Online

Ted Baker, the clothing retailer, yesterday said the cost of moving headquarters and opening a new distribution centre had helped knock 33.6 per cent off half-year profits.

Ted Baker, the clothing retailer, yesterday said the cost of moving headquarters and opening a new distribution centre had helped knock 33.6 per cent off half-year profits.

But the group remained "confident" about the outlook for the rest of the year, based on the strength of current trading.

Ray Kelvin, Ted Baker's chief executive, said the impact of the company's move to The Ugly Brown Building, a converted sorting office near London's King's Cross station, had been less severe than originally anticipated. Pre-tax profits for the six months to 12 August fell to £2.1m against £2.9m the previous year, slightly above analysts' expectations.

Sales of women's clothing were up 43.5 per cent in the period, contributing to an overall 23.8 per cent increase in turnover to £19.9m.Ted Baker's international operations performed strongly in the first half, with sales up 30 per cent at the group's New York store. Mr Kelvin said he would target further expansion in the US.

In the eight weeks to 7 October, retail sales rose by 34.4 per cent and UK wholesale takings were 76.4 per cent up. The shares closed down 42p at 417p.

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