Ted Baker bosses resign from crisis-hit fashion brand

Ted Baker is bracing for a nosedive in pre-tax profit on a year earlier. (Reuters)
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Updated 10 December 2019

Ted Baker bosses resign from crisis-hit fashion brand

  • The company warned annual pre-tax profit would stand at between £5-10 million ($6.6-13.2 million), massively down on a year earlier

LONDON: British fashion brand Ted Baker on Tuesday said both its top bosses had quit, as it warned on profits and suspended its dividend on weak consumer spending amid economic uncertainties.

The group has replaced chief executive Lindsay Page with finance director Rachel Osborne on an interim basis less than a year after Page taking charge.

Executive chairman David Bernstein has also departed, Ted Baker said in a statement.

The company warned annual pre-tax profit would stand at between £5-10 million ($6.6-13.2 million), massively down on a year earlier.

“We have continued to experience challenging trading conditions in the UK as a result of weak consumer spending, macro-economic uncertainty and a backdrop of elevated promotional activity,” the company said.

The group’s annual forecast, blamed also on poor November trade particularly over the “Black Friday” discounting period, compared with profit before tax of £50.9 million a year earlier.

In reaction, Ted Baker shares tanked by about one third on the London stock market, before recouping some losses to 336 pence, down 16 percent from Monday’s closing level.

“This is a train wreck of an update, and it feels like the company is coming apart at the seams,” said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

“Trading has been tough for retailers in recent years as the rise of online shopping has hurt the high street.

“To make matters worse, the UK consumer environment has become more fragile on account of Brexit.”

Ted Baker last week revealed that it had overstated the value of its inventory by as much as £25 million.

Page had only been in charge since March after his predecessor, Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin, resigned following allegations of harassment.

At Davos, innovative products point to a sustainable future

Updated 27 min 7 sec ago

At Davos, innovative products point to a sustainable future

  • A single tree that to bear 40 different types of apple

DAVOS: The World Economic Forum is not all about the fourth industrial revolution or the rise of AI.

You can also find all manner of strange and intriguing products on display from biodegradable plastic made from algae to wallpaper made from recycled corn husks.

One stand titled “How do you design a tree?” is part of a conservation effort where a single tree is designed to bear 40 different types of apple.

Another stand displays colored seaweed on a rack, showing how clothes can be dyed in a sustainable, non-chemically corrosive manner.

Propped along a large wall is Fernando Laposse’s wallpaper made of variations of purple corn husks that are reinforced with recycled cardboard and cork to create wallpaper and furniture. The husks come from corn that needs very little water and can be grown in the desert, which makes it all the more sustainable.

“This initiative helps the local economy as it brings in jobs and a resurgence of crafts and food traditions while also ensuring sustainability,” Laposse said.

Another display shows a machine that extracts pellets from a mixture of algae and starch and is used to create a thread that is the base of 3D printing. These sustainable, biodegradable plastics made from algae are being experimented with in different regions.

With the rise of deep fakes — a branch of synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness — another stand delivers a warning on the looming dangers of unregulated software.

The Davos forum prides itself on its sustainability, and key topics have included climate, mobility, energy and the circular economy. Everything is recyclable, and participants must download an application in order to keep up with the program and any changes — a move to cut down on paper waste.