Belfast Telegraph

Joules shrugs off tough retail market as sales jump 18%

The group – famous for its posh wellies – said revenues leapt to £96.2 million in the six months to November 26 from £81.4 million a year earlier.

Upmarket clothing brand Joules has brushed aside a “challenging” retail market to cheer an 18% surge in half-year sales as the brand expanded further in the UK and overseas.

The group – famous for its posh wellies – said revenues leapt to £96.2 million in the six months to November 26 from £81.4 million a year earlier.

Retail sales rose 16.2% as it added another 10 stores to take its UK and Ireland store estate to 118, while its wholesale revenues jumped 23% thanks to ongoing take-up in target international markets.

Chief executive Colin Porter said the group was confident over its second half, despite tougher trading conditions that are hitting other retailers.

He said: “The group’s performance reflects the growing appeal of the Joules brand amongst both new and existing customers across our target markets.

“Whilst trading conditions will remain challenging, we have seen good growth in our wholesale order book for Spring/Summer 18 and are well positioned for the Christmas trading period.”

Other retailers have flagged up a tough consumer outlook, with Carpetright the latest to warn over trading pressures as Britons rein in spending amid an income squeeze caused by Brexit-fuelled inflation.

But Market Harborough-based Joules, which listed on the AIM market last year, is pushing into overseas markets through its wholesale arm, with more than 1,500 stockists worldwide.

The group – which was founded by Tom Joule in 1989 – also has a  significant online business.

Shares in the firm rose 2% after its half-year trading update.

Liberum analysts hailed an “outstanding” first half for Joules.

They said: “Led by a strong management team, Joules has a leading brand and benefits from a loyal and highly engaged customer base that is now over one million strong.”

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.

Popular