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Shares in fashion retailer Ted Baker have plunged 30% after it posted a loss and said trading remained tough.

The firm, which issued a profits alert in June and whose founder Ray Kelvin resigned in March, blamed fierce competition and unseasonable weather.

Its comments came as it reported a £23m loss for the six months to 10 August, down from a £24.5m profit last year.

Chairman David Bernstein said if things did not improve, second-half profits would also be below last year’s.

“Trading conditions have been characterised by unprecedented and sustained levels of promotional activity across the sector with, in several cases, distressed discounting from brands and retailers and heightened competition,” Mr Bernstein said.

Sales in the first half were down across every region the company operates in, including a 3.9% fall in the UK and Europe to £141.3m. North America was down 3.1% and the rest of the world down 15.2%. Online sales also fell by 1.3% to £52.3m, although the company’s wholesale business was up 4% to £89.3m.


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