Market Harborough-based lifestyle brand Joules has, against a challenging trading environment, delivered a “robust performance” with revenue growth of 1.3%, according to a trading update for the first half of the financial year to 31 May 2020.
Retail revenue increased by 3.1%, with an improved gross margin rate.
The company said that “revenue performance was driven by strong e-commerce growth.”
Following a challenging September, as experienced across the sector, the firm saw positive trading momentum across Joules’ own e-commerce and store channels over the last two months, with revenue up by over 9%. On the back of this positive performance the Group is opening four new stores before Christmas.
Wholesale revenue decreased however by 3.8%, which Joules said reflected “the conversion of some of our larger accounts to retail concessions last year and the continued challenging UK trading environment.”
International revenue continued to grow and represents approximately 17% of Group revenue in H1.
The business said: “Whilst the UK trading environment is anticipated to continue to remain challenging, the performance and momentum of our retail channels and our clean inventory position as we approach the important Christmas trading period give us confidence that we will continue to deliver growth through the second half of the year.”
Nick Jones, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Joules has delivered further profitable growth during the period despite the continued challenging trading environment. This performance again reflects the appeal of the brand, the flexibility of our ‘Total Retail’ model and the hard work and skill of our team who have not only helped deliver growth in this tougher climate but have also launched innovative new initiatives like ‘Friends of Joules’ that create future growth opportunities.
“Since joining the business in September, I have been struck by the exceptional strength of the Joules brand as well as its clear potential for growth across channels, markets and product categories. We continue to invest in our proposition to meet changing customer expectations in a scalable and profitable way and, with positive momentum across both digital and physical channels, we are well placed as we enter the important Christmas trading period.”