Joules sales drop amid lockdown as finance chief Marc Dench departs

Joules trading update covid-19 lockdown pandemic
The fashion retailer blamed the sales decline on lockdown
// Joules has seen its sales drop due to store closure amid the lockdown
// Group revenue fell 15.3% to £94.5m for the 26 weeks to November 29
// Chief financial officer Marc Dench announced his resignation

Joules has witnessed a drop in sales and profits after revealing that its chief financial officer Marc Dench would be stepping down from the business.

The fashion retailer blamed the sales decline on the current lockdown after group revenue fell 15.3 per cent to £94.5 million for the 26 weeks to November 29.

Statutory profit before tax slipped £0.4 million to £1.3 million and profit before tax before exceptional costs fell £4.7 million to £3.7 million – which Joules said was ahead of expectations.


Despite the losses, Joules saw its net cash position for the period increase by £13.5 million to £15.6 million.

Ecommerce sales through its multichannel platforms grew by more than 45 per cent during the period, while active customers jumped 160,000 to 1.6 million.

“We are pleased with the group’s performance during the first half of the FY21 financial year with strong growth in active customers and profits ahead of the board’s expectations,” chief executive Nick Jones said.

“This performance, underpinned by very strong sales growth through our digital channels, was achieved despite challenging trading conditions and extended periods of store closures.

“The group’s progress continues to reflect the strength of our flexible and digital-led model, growing customer base and strong brand as well as the talent and dedication of our teams.”

Meanwhile, Dench would be stepping down as finance boss from the business to take on a new role with private equity backed HealthHero.

Joules said a search for Dench’s successor was underway, and that he would remain in his post no later than the end of the retailer’s financial year in May.

Dench said: “It has been a privilege to be part of the Joules journey over recent years. From the IPO in 2016, the business and brand has continued to develop and adapt to the rapidly changing customer and market dynamics and is, I believe, incredibly well positioned for its next chapter of growth.”

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