March 20, 2014 / 7:36 AM / 4 years ago

Ted Baker upbeat on 2014 as profits rise

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - British designer clothing brand Ted Baker said trading in its new fiscal year had started well as it posted a 26.7 percent rise in annual profit.

The group, which has 362 stores and concessions globally and is known for its classic cuts with quirky details, said on Thursday profit before tax and exceptional costs for the year to Jan 25 rose to 40 million pounds ($66 million), in line with market estimates.

Annual retail sales grew by a quarter, helped by a strong showing in the UK and Europe, its biggest region, and good growth in the United States and Asia.

Despite a squeeze on consumer spending and a market offering heavy discounts, Ted Baker has enjoyed strong demand in the UK, while sales overseas have also jumped following a big expansion across Europe, the United States and Asia.

The group said its retail business, which makes up around 80 percent of revenue, had started well in its new year, with a good reaction to its Spring/Summer ranges. Its wholesale and license arms were also performing in line with expectations.

Shares in the firm closed at 2,205 pence on Wednesday, up 64 percent on a year ago, valuing the group at 965 million pounds.

$1 = 0.6014 British Pounds Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by Sarah Young

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