Losses balloon at UK’s Ted Baker as lockdowns hammer retail sales, Retail News, ET Retail

Losses balloon at UK's Ted Baker as lockdowns hammer retail salesBritish fashion retailer Ted Baker said on Monday its half-year losses ballooned as coronavirus-led lockdowns dented retail sales, and warned of more pain from a no-deal Brexit as the European Union divorce deadline loomed.

The coronavirus crisis compounded difficulties for the company, which had been hit by profit warnings, management changes and an accounting scandal since founder Ray Kelvin stepped down as CEO in 2019 after misconduct allegations, which he denies.

Ted Baker had overhauled its top management team this year and raised about 95 million pounds in equity to bolster its pandemic-hit finances.

Its three-year turnaround plan would deliver 31 million pounds in annual savings, up from the 27 million pounds it targeted earlier, Ted Baker said on Monday.

“Even with some of our legacy issues being amplified by COVID-19, our balance sheet is materially stronger than we had envisaged this early in the plan and operational cash flow will be positive for the full-year,” said Chief Executive Officer Rachel Osborne.

“The main operational risk (from Brexit) remains the flow of goods into the UK through the ports,” the company said.

Ted Baker, known for suits, shirts and dresses with quirky details, said pretax loss widened to 39 million pounds ($52.23 million) in the six months ended Aug. 8, from 2.7 million pounds a year earlier.