* FY profit up 16.5 pct to 31.5 mln stg
* Revenue up 18 pct to 254.5 mln stg
* Says new year started well, more openings planned
LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - British designer clothing brand Ted Baker posted a 16.5 percent rise in annual profit as a strong home performance and investment online and overseas helped boost sales.
The high-end designer, which has over 300 stores and concessions worldwide, said profit before tax and exceptional costs for the year to Jan. 26 was 31.5 million pounds ($47.7 million), up from 27.1 million in 2012 and in line with analyst forecasts.
Group revenue rose 18.0 percent to 254.5 million pounds, with retail sales up 11 percent in the UK and Europe and up 68 percent in the United States and Canada.
The firm added that its new financial year had started well, particularly in Britain.
While many European retailers have struggled as inflation and muted wage growth hits consumers’ pockets, Ted Baker - famed for its mens’ shirts and quirky styling - has seen good demand at home and overseas, where it has been accelerating its push into the U.S. and Asian markets.
The group’s new openings in 2012 included locations such as Tokyo, Beijing and Toronto, as well as an Edwardian townhouse-themed store on Fifth Avenue, New York. It will launch a new website in 2013, and has more store and concessions openings planned across all of its markets in the year.
Shares in the firm, which have risen 72 percent in a year, closed at 1,354 pence on Wednesday, valuing the business at 576 million pounds.
Earlier this month fellow British fashion retailer French Connection posted an annual pretax loss of 7.2 million pounds after sales slumped in its core home and European market.