Welcome to HL's reimagined News, Insights and Research experience. Find out more

Share research

Ted Baker - sales up, on track for medium term targets

Fourth quarter comparable sales rose 35% compared to last year.

No recommendation - No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. All investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you invest.

Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes

This article is more than 2 years old

It was correct at the time of publishing. Our views and any references to tax, investment, and pension rules may have changed since then.

Fourth quarter comparable sales rose 35% compared to last year. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, sales were 10% lower until Omicron uncertainty hit, at which point sales were running 42% behind. Sales are also being held back by the decision to limit discounts, to help protect the brand.

Full price sales are growing as a portion of overall sales and the group's on track to meet the financial targets for 2023, laid out in 2020.

The shares rose 16.6% following the announcement.

View the latest Ted Baker share price and how to deal

Our view

Ted Baker's clawing its way back towards profitability.

A part of achieving that is reducing the amount of discounting. Full price sales are now making up a larger part of the whole, which is not only good news for margins but helps protect the brand. We're also encouraged by the improved inventory management - an area the group's previously struggled with. Keeping a firm grip on stock levels ultimately helps avoid unwanted knocks to profit.

Gargantuan cost saving efforts, the sale and lease back of its head office and the issuing of new shares, means the balance sheet is in much better condition than before too. Ted's also flush with £3m of net cash.

We are genuinely pleased with progress and have fewer immediate concerns about Ted's health. But there are lingering challenges that shouldn't be ignored.

Ted's online presence isn't where it needs to be. It's crucial we see digital activity making up a bigger part of the picture sooner rather than later. Online sales have been affected by the decision to keep prices up, which is the right move in our view. But if the group can't keep inflating the amount of full price items it sells online, it calls the wider appeal of Ted Baker's brand into question.

Digital expansion is in the spotlight because high street footfall is in structural decline. Ted is highly exposed to city centre and department store locations, which are being especially badly hit. Pre-pandemic, 50% of Ted's sales came from city centres.

The longer-term plan is to reduce the group's physical footprint, open new stores in key developing markets like Greater China and the Middle East and focus on a hybrid online/in store approach to selling.

With weddings back on social calendars and offices reopening, headier growth isn't out of the question. Ted's close to having all the pieces needed to complete its turnaround--but it remains to be seen whether they will fit together seamlessly.

If the group is able to pull off this strategy shift, the shares could rerate in their favour. But there's a lot of execution risk ahead. If Ted has to revert back to sale stickers to drive customers to its website, it'll be back to square one. We'll need more proof that the online strategy will be successful before turning more positive.

Ted Baker key facts

All ratios are sourced from Refinitiv. Please remember yields are variable and not a reliable indicator of future income. Keep in mind key figures shouldn't be looked at on their own - it's important to understand the big picture.

Fourth quarter trading update

For the final quarter, Retail sales were 29.5% behind pre-pandemic levels, with stores down 43.2% and online down 0.9%. Compared to last year, store sales are up over 90%, online's up 2.1%, Wholesale and Licence are up 27.8% and 52.5% respectively.

The group also mentioned that Retail sales growth rates were affected by seven percentage points due to change in operating model relating to the Japanese and Chinese business moving from Retail to Licence and joint venture, and from House of Fraser moving to Wholesale.

The reduction in discounting lowered sales, but has improved trading profit margins. Ted Baker reiterated it will continue to focus on improving full price sales as part of its strategy.

The Group has signed a new franchise agreement in the UK, with plans for at least three new store locations per year over the next three years.

There was strong inventory and stock control in the year and the group expects to report year end net cash of £3m, in line with upgraded guidance.

This article is original Hargreaves Lansdown content, published by Hargreaves Lansdown. It was correct as at the date of publication, and our views may have changed since then. Unless otherwise stated estimates, including prospective yields, are a consensus of analyst forecasts provided by Refinitiv. 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.

This article is not advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment. No view is given on the present or future value or price of any investment, and investors should form their own view on any proposed investment. This article has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is considered a marketing communication. Non-independent research is not subject to FCA rules prohibiting dealing ahead of research, however HL has put controls in place (including dealing restrictions, physical and information barriers) to manage potential conflicts of interest presented by such dealing. Please see our full non-independent research disclosure for more information.

Latest from Share research
Weekly newsletter
Sign up for editors choice. The week's top investment stories, free in your inbox every Saturday.
Written by
Sophie Lund-Yates
Sophie Lund-Yates
Lead Equity Analyst

Sophie is a lead on our Equity Research team, providing research and regular articles on a selection of individual companies and wider sectors. Sophie's specialities are Retail, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Aerospace & Defence as well as a few of the big tech names including Facebook and Apple.

Our content review process
The aim of Hargreaves Lansdown's financial content review process is to ensure accuracy, clarity, and comprehensiveness of all published materials
Article history
Published: 23rd February 2022