Tuesday 23 July 2019 11:47 am

Joules defies retail anguish with growth across the board

Clothes store Joules this morning announced a double-figures spike in profit despite tough high street conditions.

The full-year results will be the last for outgoing CEO Colin Porter, who said the firm was “well-positioned for continued success”.

Read more: Joules lures in top Asda director as new chief executive

The figures

Pre-tax profit rose 14.9 per cent to £12.9m for the year ending 26 May. Revenue increased 17.2 per cent to £218m.

The firm had a net cash position of £5.8m. It proposed a final dividend of 1.35p per share, taking the year’s total to 2.1p, up from 2.0p the previous year.

Shares fell 2.6 per cent this morning.

Why it’s interesting

Clothing retailers have faced torrid trading conditions in recent years. Joules’ results fly in the face of competitors such as Asos, who have struggled.

Joules said womens’ clothing ranges were top sellers, along with footwear and accessories.

E-commerce sales make up 58 per cent of the firm’s retail revenue, reflecting the sector-wide shift to online shopping.

Emma-Lou Montgomery, analyst at Fidelity Personal Investing, said Joules has “cashed in on the British obsession with all things weather-related; making its mark with its range of coloured wellies and macs”.

The firm has “stylishly side-stepped not just the British weather, but the UK eco-political climate too,” she added.

“Outgoing chief executive Colin Porter leaves on a high. 

“Incomer Nick Jones from the Asda group, who takes the helm in September, should have the smarts to continue to see Joules make headway, come rain or shine – meteorologically, economically or politically-speaking.

Chairman Ian Filby said the firm would look to continue expanding abroad via wholesale and digital sales.

He added contingency plans for a hard Brexit are in place.

What Joules said

Chief executive Porter said: “These results in a challenging retail sector reflect the strength and appeal of the Joules brand, the flexibility of our ‘Total Retail’ model, and the success of our carefully managed product extension strategy. 

Read more: Joules records strong Christmas trading thanks to online sales surge

“We are pleased with the Group’s performance to date in the early stages of our new financial year, with trading in line with our expectations. 

“Looking ahead, whilst the consumer retail environment is anticipated to remain challenging, particularly in the UK, the Board and I believe that Joules remains well-positioned for continued success both in the UK and our target international markets.”

Main image: Joules Group