Fashion retailer Joules warned profits will fall below expectations today after a challenging Christmas period, triggering a plunge in its shares.
The company expects annual pre-tax profits to be “significantly” lower than a forecast £16.7m due to supply chain issues.
Joules saw a 4.5 per cent fall in sales over the seven weeks to 5 January compared with an 11.7 per cent increase in the same period the year before.
Investors quickly sent shares tumbling 20.4 per cent to 180p.
The drop came despite performing in line with expectations during the first half of the financial year and a strong sales performance over the Black Friday trading period.
Joules blamed disappointing online sales due to limited stock availability following its end of season sale.
“We are disappointed with our inability to fully satisfy our customers’ demand through our online channel during the important Christmas sale period. We have identified the root cause of this one-off issue and have taken steps to prevent its re-occurrence,” said chief executive Nick Jones.
Jones said demand for the brand “remains strong” and the company was making “significant enhancements to our supply operations in the UK and US.”
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Performance of Joules’ other retail channels, where stock availability was “good”, met expectations.
Traffic to the Joules website also increased by eight per cent.
Main image credit: Joules