Ted Baker's brief trading statement covering the 8 weeks from 12 November 2017 to 6 January 2018, confirms a 'good retail performance over the Christmas period'.
The shares rose 4.7% on the news.
In less than 30 years, Ted Baker has grown from a shirt shop in Glasgow to a quirky global lifestyle brand. The ethos is to try and present something a little different to the mainstream, an affordable luxury for consumers seeking individuality and indulgence. We see this as an attractive niche in the market.
As a relatively young brand, Ted Baker is expanding. However, almost uniquely for a group in Ted's position, it doesn't do above-the-line advertising. Instead, it aims for a product that will sell itself, with the marketing savings reinvested back into the design.
As far as expansion goes, Ted Baker's management leaves the flashy stuff to the design team. The group takes a considered approach with the focus on choosing the right locations, rather than just rolling out as many as possible. This strategy has seen the Ted Baker brand go from strength to strength.
Sales and operating profits have grown steadily, enabling Ted to deliver dividend increases every year this century, with a double digit increase in all but two years. The prospective yield is currently 2.4%, and analysts expect further dividend increases from here.
Online growth has been stellar, and plans to centralise online distribution under one roof should help improve performance even further. However, there are one or two lingering concerns over the bricks and mortar business. Ted has flagged more difficult conditions in several global markets, and we can't help but notice in-store sales densities are falling.
Nonetheless, Ted's measured approach over the last few years means the group only trades from 511 stores, concessions and outlets worldwide. This should mean there's plenty of room left for growth, going some way to explaining why Ted, at 20.2 times expected earnings per share, trades at a premium to many retail rivals.
Retail sales increased by 9.0% (10.5% in constant currency) over the period, driven by a 35% rise in online sales and a 5.9% increase in sales space on last year.
During the Christmas period a new store in Montreal was added, with more concessions opening in Germany and Spain, plus licencing deals in Malaysia, Mexico and Qatar.
Gross margins were in line with prior expectations, and the group expects to end the year with a clean stock position. The group's expectations on the 52 weeks to 27 January are unchanged. Results will be published on 22 March, and analysts currently expect operating profits of around £77m.
Ray Kelvin, Ted Baker's founder and CEO said: "Whilst external trading conditions are expected to remain challenging in the year ahead, the strength of our brand and business model means that we remain well positioned to continue the long-term development of Ted Baker as a global lifestyle brand."
Unless otherwise stated estimates, including prospective yields, are a consensus of analyst forecasts provided by Thomson Reuters. These estimates are not a reliable indicator of future performance. Yields are variable and not guaranteed. Investments rise and fall in value so investors could make a loss.
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