British fashion retailer Ted Baker today reported lower annual pretax profit, its first decline since the financial crisis, as discounting and uncertainty on Britain's high street weighed on the company. 

Ted Baker's founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin quit this month after misconduct allegations.

The company said its group pretax profit fell 26.1% to £50.9m for the year ended January 26. 

It said it had come up with several strategies and contingency plans to minimise disruptions caused by Brexit, including forming a group to work with external advisers to identify key risks. 

The retailer, housed in London's "Ugly Brown Building", said its Brexit review included a look at its regulatory compliance, trade and team members. 

Ted Baker was founded in 1988 and has about 500 stores and concessions globally.

It said today that retail sales rose 4.2% to £461m including its online business, while retail sales in its UK and Europe business rose 4.6% to £315m. 

The stock fell more than 40 percent in 2018, hurt by lower wholesale sales and retail sluggishness as consumers scaled back on spending. 

Ted Baker also dealt with a long and harsh winter in Europe and North America, followed by an unusually hot summer. 

The end of 2018 brought more turmoil as Ted Baker announced an independent investigation into misconduct claims against its founder after an online campaign claiming to represent over 200 employees asked for an end to "forced hugging" and "a culture that leaves harassment unchallenged."