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Ted Baker shares crash by 30% as it issues profit warning and bosses resign

Shoppers walk past a Ted Baker store on Regents Street in London, Britain December 17, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Simon Dawson
The issues add to a dreadful year for Ted Baker. Photo: Simon Dawson/REUTERS

Ted Baker’s (TED.L) chief executive Lindsay Page and executive chairman David Bernstein have both left the embattled fashion brand, which also issued a profit warning.

In two separate statements the retailer announced the departures.

Ted Baker said that Page, who was appointed in April, has resigned and Rachel Osborne, who was chief financial officer, will become acting CEO with immediate effect. The search for a new CEO will start in January 2020.

"I would like to thank everyone at Ted Baker whom I have had the pleasure of working with since 1997. In particular, I am grateful for the team's support over the last 12 months,” said Page.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Ray Kelvin for the opportunity he gave me 22 years ago to join this fantastic brand and help to achieve his vision of creating a truly international business. I am very proud of everything the team at Ted Baker has achieved together.”

Shares in Ted Baker have crashed over 30% on the news:

Chart: Yahoo Finance
Chart: Yahoo Finance

In another statement Ted Baker said Bernstein stepped down as executive chairman with immediate effect and Sharon Baylay has assumed the role of acting chair of the board until a permanent successor is appointed.

The group also announced a profit warning, citing a reduction in 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."

“An anticipation that difficult trading conditions will continue, and therefore it is appropriate to take a more cautious outlook for the remainder of the financial year, which includes the key trading months of December 2019 and January 2020,” it added.

On 2 December, shares in Ted Baker crashed after it admitted it overstated the value of its inventory by as much as £25m.

Law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has been appointed to lead a “comprehensive review.” Ted Baker said the issues relate to prior years and are not expected to have a cash impact. Ted Baker said it wouldn’t comment further while the review was ongoing.

The inventory issues add to a dreadful year for Ted Baker, which changed chief executives earlier this year after founder Ray Kelvin left over allegations about his conduct. The retailer also put out a profit warning in October and shares are down 75% so far this year.