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Ted Baker to head out east.

Byline: BILL GLEESON

FASHION label Ted Baker celebrated a boost in profits as the company outlined plans to expand its chain of stores around the world.

The company beat expectations as pre-tax profits lifted 11.3% to pounds 7m 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% to pounds 39.4m, buoyed by the launch in May of its second biggest US store in California and the increasing popularity of its womenswear range.

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% on the same period in 2005.

There was also success for the wholesale operation, where sales crept up 1.1% to pounds 21.7m, 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.

Founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin said: "We continue our planned expansion into the US, the Far East and Asia and I am pleased to announce the opening of the first store in Hong Kong."

Ted Baker now has 26 stores, 68 concessions and eight discount outlets which sell the previous year's lines at reduced prices.

Its flagship store is in London with others around the UK including Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham with a new shop due open in Bath.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 6, 2006
Words:251
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