Strong sales of formalwear at Ted Baker helped to drive a 25% increase in first-half profits as customers looked for smarter product during the downturn.

Pre-tax profits rose 24.6% to £7.5m during the 28-week period to August 14.

Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin said: “People are dressing smarter, people want quality product. It’s been doom and gloom and people want to dress up.”

Group revenues rose 15% to £88.1m in the half, when womenswear sales rose 17.3% to £43.3m to represent 49.1% of total revenues. Retail sales jumped 17.2% during the period, including a 14.4% increase in UK and Europe turnover to £64.2m. Wholesale revenues rose 6.3%, helped by a strong US performance.

The retailer reported a good start to the second half but reminded investors the economic outlook remains uncertain. Costs and commitments are under control and the balance sheet strong, said the retailer.

Oriel analyst Ben Hunt said: “In our view there is potential to roll out the brand to new territories internationally as well as continuing to develop its presence in the UK.”