Ted Baker chief executive Ray Kelvin is optimistic that the economic crisis in the US is beginning to bottom out.

The retailer will continue expanding in the US despite difficult trading. “I am getting the feeling they have hit the bottom,” said Kelvin. “We are still thinking of opening shops there and could have 30 over the next three to four years.”

He admitted that trade had been “very tough” in the US, where Ted Baker has nine stores. In the year to January 31 sales at its US retail division fell 2.6 per cent.

Group profits were hit by difficult trading and plummeted 11.4 per cent to£19.6m for the year.
However, overall retail sales growth stayed strong at 14 per cent.

Kelvin maintained: “This is a really good set of results in what has been a turbulent time for
the world.”

He believed that Ted Baker had advantages over some retailers, having been started during a recession. “I like to think we are never ever complacent,” said Kelvin. “Product is paramount and ours is improving and we are still continuing to win customers.”

Ted Baker’s wholesale arm underperformed over the year – sales fell 12.2 per cent, partly the effect of the transfer of some wholesale accounts to retail concessions.

The Baker by Ted Baker collection at Debenhams is performing well, but other than this range the retailer plans to withdraw from designer childrenswear for the “foreseeable future”.

Kelvin also said that its transactional website has performed well and he would consider expanding the retailer’s online presence to its international markets.

Brokers broadly welcomed the retailer’s results. Panmure Gordon analyst Philip Dorgan said the business should “emerge stronger from the recession and that “attention to detail and real passion for the product will pay off”.

Singer analyst Matthew McEachran said: “Although management remains very cautious about prospects, they indicate Ted Baker is well placed to weather the conditions and has a strong balance sheet that will allow them to continue investing in the worldwide development of the brand.”

Ted Baker now runs 193 stores and concessions worldwide.