// Joules profits to be ahead of expectations as online channels & reopened store sales thrive
// For the year ending May 30, Joules said sales increased 4% to £199m
// Profit before tax to be between £5.5m-£6.5m, ahead of current market expectations of £5.2m-£5.3m
Joules has said its full-year profits is expected to exceed analyst expectations thanks to growing online sales and rebounding in-store sales since reopening.
In a pre-close update issued this morning, Joules said revenue for the year ending May 30 increased four per cent year-on-year to £199 million, mostly due strong ecommerce sales and the acquisition of Garden Trading in February.
Joules said it now expects full year profit before tax and exceptional items to be between £5.5 million and £6.5 million, ahead of current market expectations of £5.2 million to £5.3 million.
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The fashion and lifestyle retailer attributed the performance down to growth in its online retail channels, including a 48 per cent year-on-year boost through its Friends of Joules online marketplace.
Joules also said store sales for the eight weeks since post-lockdown reopening were ahead of the comparable period two years ago, before the pandemic.
It added that overall retail revenue, which includes ecommerce sales as well as stores, increased nine-per cent year-on-year.
However, sales from just its high street stores dropped by 41 per cent for the year, reflective of the the three lockdowns and tiered restrictions that were implemented as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic also impacted wholesale sales, which declined by approximately 17 per cent year-on-year.
“The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the lives of consumers, the level of disruption and pace of change in the retail sector over the past 12 months has been truly unprecedented,” Joules chief executive Nick Jones said.
“I am delighted that, against this backdrop, Joules has been able to deliver a very solid financial performance and strong strategic progress.
“This outcome primarily reflects, firstly, the strength and relevance of the Joules brand to an increasing number of customers and, secondly, the increasing importance of our digital proposition both to customers and within our business model, with approximately 77 per cent of our retail sales now generated online.
“As we move into the new financial year, Joules is now a stronger and more diversified business than ever before.
“The continued success and growth of our Friends of Joules digital marketplace and our strengthened position in the home, garden and outdoor sector following the acquisition of Garden Trading means that we now offer significantly more products across more categories and provide our customers with more choice and reasons to shop with us.
“As a result of the strength of the Joules brand and the increasing diversification of the group’s digital-led business model, we believe that the group is very well positioned to continue to deliver its ambitious growth plans.”