Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Revenue and profits down at Joules as COVID-19 and stock issues bite

Revenue and profits are down at Market Harborough-based Joules for its 2020 financial year.

Group revenue decreased by 12.5% to £190.8m from £218.0m in it’s 2019 financial year, adversely impacted by COVID-19 and an e-commerce stock availability issue over the Christmas trading period.

Meanwhile the lifestyle brand made a loss before tax of £2m in comparison to a profit of £12.9m in 2019.

However, the company has pointed to encouraging recent trading, with trading performance ahead of management’s expectations after the first nine weeks of FY21. E-commerce demand is up more than 70% on the comparable period in the prior year, all stores have now re-opened with overall performance ahead of expectations and wholesale is performing in line with expectations.

Nick Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Joules, said: “I am incredibly proud of how Joules has responded and adapted to the recent disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and I would like to again thank our colleagues for their hard work, our customers for their continued loyalty, and our partners for their collaboration throughout this challenging time.

“We were quick to bolster our liquidity position, preserve cash and focus our trading online, and we are very encouraged by the more than 70% growth in e-commerce demand since the start of the new financial year as well as the performance of our stores since reopening. This is testament to the strength of the Joules brand, the relevance of our product range, the desirable locations of our stores and the flexibility of our model.

“Whilst the Group’s financial results for FY20 were impacted by challenging external trading conditions in the UK throughout the year; the stock availability issue that, as previously reported, impacted our e-commerce sales over the Christmas trading period; as well as material COVID-19-related disruption during the final quarter, I am very pleased with the continued progress we have made against our long-term strategic goals. We have further strengthened our flexible ‘Total Retail’ model; enhanced our UK and US supply chain operations to support our growth plans; and launched Friends of Joules, an exciting new digital marketplace.

“Whilst the retail sector will continue to face challenging trading conditions over the coming months, I believe that Joules is very well positioned to navigate both the existing and potential further COVID-19-related challenges and continue to invest in targeted growth opportunities. The Joules brand’s awareness and health metrics have never been stronger, and I firmly believe that, underpinned by our strong brand purpose, Joules is more relevant than ever before.”

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