Ted Baker bosses resign as firm issues profit warning
Ted Baker boss Lindsay Page, who was only appointed in April, has resigned from the troubled fashion retailer. It also issued a profit warning, saying it now expected annual pre-tax profits to be between £5m and £10m.
In addition, the fashion firm’s executive chairman David Bernstein has stepped down. Mr Page was promoted to chief executive after Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin stepped down following allegations of misconduct.
Those allegations included claims of “forced hugging”, which Mr Kelvin denies. Chief financial officer Rachel Osborne will become acting chief executive with immediate effect, with Mr Page helping with the transition.
Non-executive director Sharon Baylay will take on the role of acting chair following the departure of Mr Bernstein.
Its shares fell sharply in morning trading on Tuesday, before paring losses to stand down about 15%.
Ted Baker said the past year has been the “most challenging in our history”. The firm has been dealing with the fallout of Mr Kelvin’s resignation and “challenging” trading conditions.
Shares in the firm have fallen by more than 75% since January in a year which has seen it give four profit warnings.
It confirmed it had hired consultants Alix Partners to carry out a review of the group’s operational efficiency, costs and business model as part of an urgent recovery plan.
As well as its latest profit warning, it has also announced it has suspended its shareholder dividend payout.
Analyst consensus in October had been that its full-year profit would be £28.4m.
It said it was now reducing its full-year trading outlook “to a minimum profit before tax of £5m, with a potential outcome of up to £10m dependent on Christmas trading and final year-end review”.
It said it had seen worse-than-expected trading and falling sales in November and over Black Friday.
Last week its bosses revealed they had uncovered that the group’s inventory had been overstated by between £20m and £25m, sparking another tumble in the value of its shares.