// Joules will take action against the coronavirus outbreak after a decline in footfall & revenue
// The pandemic will likely impact business over the coming months
Joules has announced that ”prudent actions” will be taken after reporting a decline in footfall and revenue thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
The British lifestyle retailer said its key retail channels performed in line with expectations following its interim results on January 21.
But since the outbreak, Joules said it has seen a steep decline in footfall and revenue, while its online division has also been impacted, albeit to a lesser extent.
The retailer said its sales are likely to be impacted, through to its concession and wholesale trading partners in the UK and internationally.
Joules predicted that the pandemic will continue to impact business in the coming months.
However, it will not provide financial guidance at this time given the level of uncertainty.
”The board is taking prudent actions to manage the near term challenges whilst ensuring the business remains well positioned to deliver its long term growth plans”, Joules said.
”These actions include removing cost and non-critical capex from the business.
“Furthermore, the board has decided to cancel the proposed interim dividend, saving £700,000 of cash.
”The group currently has £16 million cash headroom, a strong relationship with its bank, Barclays, and a supportive founder and major shareholder, Tom Joule.
“The board continues to plan for multiple scenarios and explore various ways to mitigate the impact of reduced demand for a potentially extended period of time.
“The board welcomes the measures that the UK government has thus far announced to support retailers and impacted employees across the sector.”
Joules chief executive Nick Jones said: “The challenges that all retailers are currently facing are unprecedented in modern times.
“Our immediate and over-riding objective is to ensure the wellbeing and protection of our colleagues and our customers.”
“While the group’s near-term profitability will be impacted by the sector-wide effects of Covid-19, the board is remaining focused on protecting long-term value for its stakeholders and managing the near-term pressures on the business.
“We have an outstanding, unique brand and a fantastic team. I am very confident that Joules will successfully emerge from this very difficult period in a position to continue to deliver its exciting long-term growth plans.”