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Jan 11 (Reuters) - Fashion retailer Ted Baker on Wednesday reported a surge in sales over Christmas, turning in a strong performance despite difficult market conditions in Britain, boosting its shares by as much as 5 percent.
The company reported a 17.9 percent rise in retail sales for 8 weeks to January 7 which includes Christmas. Online sales rose by 35 percent.
Ted Baker's performance contrasts with some of Britain's other clothing retailers, which have had tough time over Christmas. Next, Britain's most successful retailer of the last decade, last week cut its profit forecast for the current financial year after a poor Christmas and warned of a further decline in 2017-18. Next also highlighted "exceptional" levels of uncertainty in the clothing retail sector.
Ted Baker's dresses, suits and shirts, which often have quirky details such as flowery collars and polka-dotted sleeves, have helped it to stand out from mid-market rivals in Britain.
Broker Liberum said in a client note that unlike more mature retail businesses, Ted Baker's strategy of leading with stores in key locations and making the brand available online was a low risk, low capex route to growth.
Peel Hunt said the performance was 'very solid', pointing to the pick up in retail sales from growth of 6.7 percent in constant currency that Ted Baker reported for 13 weeks to Nov. 12.
Liberum has a "buy" rating on the stock while Peel Hunt has a "hold".
Ted Baker's shares were up 2.6 percent at 0937 GMT. They have risen more than 15 percent over the last two years.
The FTSE 250 fashion company increased its selling space by 8.5 percent in the period and also opened a concession in China and its first ever store in Bahrain.
The company will announce full year results on March 23.
Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman