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Joules has merry Christmas as sales growth accelerates

Published
today Jan 8, 2019
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Joules has been one of the big success stories of UK retail in recent years, so its Christmas trading update was closely watched on Tuesday. After all, if the success stories start to falter, that really is bad news for the retail sector.


Joules



But observers needn't have worried with the company’s seven-week trading period up to January 6 seeing retail sales up 11.7% year-on-year on a comparable basis. Reported retail sales growth was 24% excluding the prior year restatement for concessions, which was ahead of reported retail revenue growth of 21.2% in the first half so Christmas was clearly a good time for the brand.

This performance reflected growth across all of the brand’s products categories, the company said, although it’s a shame that it didn’t say how its particular individual country markets had performed. The company, which has 123 stores in the UK and Ireland, also operates in the US, Germany, France and other European markets.

It did say that it delivered a “particularly strong performance online” with e-commerce representing almost half of total retail sales during the period. This was driven by a good performance through its own digital channels, but it also did well through its concession partners’ webstores. The company said that this “reflects the appeal of the Joules brand as well as the strength of the group's integrated and flexible 'total retail' model.”

And the performance supports its “previously stated confidence in the group achieving full-year 2019 PBT [profit before tax] in line with its expectations.”

CEO Colin Porter was upbeat about the Christmas performance, which is understandable given that, as mentioned, it marked an improvement from its retail sales growth in the first half of its financial year. And it’s also understandable as it was achieved “despite the ongoing backdrop of challenging sector trading conditions.”

We’ll hear more about that first half when the company releases its interim results for the 26-week period to November 25 later this month (January 23).

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