Ted Baker bosses resign from crisis-hit fashion brand

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

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.


SAMA calls for more M&A deals in insurance sector

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has issued a statement encouraging companies in the insurance sector to consider merger and acquisition (M&A) deals. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has issued a statement encouraging companies in the insurance sector to consider merger and acquisition (M&A) deals. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Updated 14 min 25 sec ago

SAMA calls for more M&A deals in insurance sector

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has issued a statement encouraging companies in the insurance sector to consider merger and acquisition (M&A) deals. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
  • Through mergers, SAMA said it aims to improve customer service and efficiency, and reduce costs
  • M&As can make sector more competitive and strengthen its financial position, it added

RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has issued a statement encouraging companies in the insurance sector to consider merger and acquisition (M&A) deals.

SAMA stressed the sector’s importance to the Saudi economy, and the part it plays in the government’s Financial Sector Development Program.

SAMA cited the merger of Walaa Cooperative Insurance and Metlife AIG ANB Cooperative Insurance, and of Gulf Union National Cooperative Insurance and Al-Ahlia Insurance, as successful examples of such deals and how they helped boost the financial solvency of the companies involved by improving the insurers’ capital.

Research shows that M&As can make the sector more competitive and strengthen its financial position.

Through the M&As, SAMA said it aims to improve customer service and efficiency, and reduce costs.

Last year proved to be “eventful” for M&As in the Middle East and North Africa, in particular the Kingdom, said Bader Alamoudi, senior country officer for JP Morgan Saudi Arabia.

He told Argaam in December that M&A activity was driven by companies looking to streamline costs and boost efficiency and optimization, particularly during periods of prolonged uncertainty.

“As in previous years, the financial sector has been one of the most active in terms of M&A activity in the region during 2020,” he said.

“The consolidation theme has created a ripple effect on other sectors, including energy, real estate etc., where we have started to witness heightened activity. I believe such activity will continue next year as well.”

Also notable were the stimulus packages provided by SAMA, which proved to be an immense source of cash flow that helped ease the payment burden on firms.

Alamoudi told Argaam that he expected the improvement in oil prices to rekindle retail confidence and fuel investment banking activities. “2021 is going to be a very interesting year with lots happening across all lines of business,” he said.