Ted Baker profits plunge 26% following harassment claims

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

London-based fashion brand Ted Baker has reported a 26 per cent fall in pretax profits to £50.9m in a year dogged by harassment claims.

The company said it was determined to learn lessons from the recent harassment allegations and that it was doing all it could to ensure all its staff felt respected and valued.

Chief executive and founder, Ray Kelvin, has denied all allegations of misconduct. He initially took a voluntary leave of absence from his role in December 2018, after claims of misconduct were made against him. However, he officially quit as CEO and as a director of the firm earlier this month.

Since December, an internal Independent Committee has been in the process of investigating those allegations, the company said. The Committee commissioned law firm Herbert Smith Freehills to investigate the allegations and Ted Baker's policies, procedures and handling of HR-related complaints. 

HR policies under scrutiny

The company said in a stock market statement that the primary focus of the remainder of the investigation will be on Ted Baker's policies, procedures and handling of HR-related complaints. 

The firm said it expects HSF will conclude its investigation within the next few months. 

“The Board are committed to ensuring that all employees feel respected and valued”, the company said. “We are determined to learn lessons from what has happened and from what our employees have told us and to ensure that, while the many positive and unique aspects of Ted Baker's culture are maintained, appropriate changes are made.

Acting Chief Executive Officer, Lindsay Page said: "Ted Baker has continued to grow across each of the brand's distribution channels despite difficult trading conditions across a number of the Group's global markets. 

“This resilient sales performance again reflects the strength of the brand, the talent of our teams, and the quality of our collections.”

Ted Baker’s share price was trading down 4.9 per cent at £16.26 in early trading.

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