Fashion label Ted Baker has celebrated a boost in profits as the company outlined plans to expand its chain of stores around the world.
It beat expectations as pretax profits lifted 11.3 per cent to £7 million on the back of increased sales at both its retail and wholesale arms during the 28 weeks to August 12.
Retail sales rose 10.4 per cent to £39.4 million, buoyed by the launch in May of its second biggest US store in California and the increasing popularity of its womenswear range. Group revenue was up 6.9 per cent to £61.1 million.
The firm also offered hopes of further growth before the end of the year and said early second-half sales to September 30 were up 14.7 per cent on the same period in 2005.
There was also success for the wholesale operation, where sales crept up 1.1 per cent to £21.7 million, despite concerns over testing market conditions.
Ted Baker, which started as a single shirt specialist shop in Glasgow, also admitted it was still eyeing up opportunities to open more outlets overseas.
A further five openings are also scheduled for the second half of the year in Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta and two stores in Singapore.
The company highlighted an 11.7 per cent increase in sales of its womenswear to £24.3 million, which now accounts for almost 40 per cent of total sales.
Menswear also enjoyed positive growth of 5.6 per cent to £34 million, but children's clothes and footwear now represent 4.5 per cent of total sales compared to 5.6 per cent last year.
But, seven-week wholesale sales were 6.8 per cent below last year due to earlier phasing of deliveries.
The company said it expects wholesale sales for the full year to be below last year.
Gross margin was 56.5 per cent compared to 57 per cent in the first half, reflecting a slightly increased wholesale margin and a lower achieved retail gross margin.
Ted Baker said licence income of £1.8 million was in line with last year.
The company said: "As always, the Christmas period remains key to our overall performance and the board remains confident of a successful outcome for the full year."
Ted Baker's flagship store is in London with others around the UK including Birmingham, Leeds, and Liverpool and with a new shop due to open in Bath.
It also has a one-off Endurance store in London's Covent Garden selling suits, shirts and ties made of crease-resistant fabrics.
Mark Charnock, from Investec Securities, described the performance as "robust" and said the planned expansion into the Far East was a major step.
Shares closed down 11.25p at 481p.