British lifestyle brand Joules anticipates the group’s revenue and profit before tax for the 2021 full-year will be ahead of current analyst consensus expectations of GBP187m (US$264.5m) in revenue and GBP4.1m in pre-tax profit before exceptional items.
In a business and trading update covering the 11 months to 2 May, Joules said since its interim results on 27 January, the group has continued to deliver a positive performance across its retail channels that have been able to trade within the context of the UK’s lockdown restrictions.
The performance has been driven by continued strong sales on the group’s digital platform, an encouraging initial contribution from the acquisition of Garden Trading Company Limited in February, and the performance of the group’s stores since their reopening from mid-April.
Demand on Joules’ own websites has grown by about 50% year-to-date against the comparable prior-year period, up from the 47% growth reported for the first half of the financial year. Friends of Joules, the group’s digital lifestyle marketplace of third-party brands, has continued its strong growth momentum, reflecting the increased number of curated products and ranges now available to Joules’ growing active digital customer base.
Stores, meanwhile, have performed ahead of management’s expectations since re-opening following the third national lockdown, with sales for the four weeks since reopening ahead of the comparable period two years ago.
Joules added, notwithstanding the continued uncertainty impacting the retail sector, the board is encouraged by this momentum across retail channels, as well as by the confirmation of the further easing of lockdown restrictions in England by the UK Government.
“We are delighted with the group’s continued momentum, which reflects the strength of our product proposition, the flexibility and diversification of our business model, and the relevance of our brand to an increasing number of customers,” said Nick Jones, CEO of Joules. “Our digital proposition continues to go from strength to strength and we have been very pleased with the performance of our retail stores since their re-opening.
“Although the past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for the retail sector, I truly believe that Joules is now in an even stronger position than ever before. We have an increasingly digital-led business, more diversified income streams and a broader product proposition that is highly relevant to our customers’ lifestyles. Whilst the retail sector will continue to face near and medium-term challenges as a result of the pandemic, we look forward to the future with confidence, underpinned by the strength and relevance of our brand and business model.”
Joules recently extended and converted its current credit facility with Barclays Bank to an Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) linked financing arrangement.