Joules posts double-digit rise in half-year profits & sales

Joules half year
// Joules half-year underlying profits up 14.7%
// Half-year group revenue surges 17.6%
// International revenue skyrockets 64.2%, and now makes up 15.8% of group revenue

Joules has defied the challenges plaguing UK retail as it posted double-digit growth in revenue and profits for its first half, which it said was ahead of initial expectations.

In its interim report published today, the lifestyle and fashion retailer said underlying profits for the 26-week period ending November 26 grew 14.7 per cent year-on-year, from £9.3 million to £10.7 million.

Group revenue surged 17.6 per cent during the same period, from £96.2 million the prior year to £113.1 million.

Joules – which is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year – added that its international revenue increased by a whopping 64.2 per cent year-on-year and now represented 15.8 per cent of group revenue.

Meanwhile, its net cash balance came in at £4.3 million by the end of the period, an improvement of £1.3 million on the prior year.

The strong first half performance prompted the retailer’s board to reiterate its confidence in achieving full year 2019 underlying profit before tax in line with its expectations.

“As previously reported, this outcome is ahead of our initial expectations for the period and has been achieved despite challenging trading conditions,” Joules chief executive Colin Porter said.

“The business’s success during this first half of the year is testament to the strength of our distinctive brand and the efforts of our fantastic team.

“We continue to benefit from a well-invested and flexible ‘total retail’ model in the UK, which enables us to respond and adapt to shifting customer preferences.

“Internationally, the brand continues to grow very well in both the US and Germany.”

As reported earlier this month, Joules continued its sales momentum through the Christmas trading season, with retail sales up 11.7 per cent in the seven-week period ending January 6.

When Joules first revealed its half-year results in a preliminary report in December, it said it had begun making “contingency plans” ahead of a potential no-deal Brexit outcome, which included setting up a third-party distribution hub in the EU to mitigate potential issues across the UK’s borders.

The retailer also said it would begin to order products earlier in preparation for delays while increasing its currency hedging activities in anticipation of a further devaluation of the pound.

“Contingency plans have been put in place to mitigate the expected disruption that could arise in the event of a ‘hard Brexit’,” Joules stated at the time.

“These plans include establishing an EU-based third-party distribution facility; scheduling earlier inbound product deliveries for our spring/summer 2019 ranges; preparation for expected increased administrative activities; and hedging US dollar requirements more than 12 months forward.”

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