Fashion retailer Joules has reported a 1.4% decrease in group revenue to £111.6m for the half-year period ended 24 November 2019.
The group said the results were impacted by the timing of Black Friday, which fell in the second half of FY20, but the first half of the financial year prior.
On a comparable 27 week period, including Black Friday in both first halves, group revenue increased by 1.3% and retail revenue increased by 3.1%.
The timing of Black Friday also affected profit before tax before exceptional costs, which decreased by £0.9m to £8.4m.
Meanwhile, statutory profit before tax decreased 82% to £1.7m from £9.3m the year prior, following non-cash exceptional impairment charges of £6.7m which related to store closures, head office relocation and changes in distribution arrangements.
The retailer said that its “disappointing” Christmas trading period was also due to online stock availability issues, as well as supply chain costs and China-US tariffs. However, the group said that e-commerce now represents 50% of its retail revenue.
CEO Nick Jones said: “Joules delivered a robust first half sales and margin performance in line with expectations, which was pleasing in the context of a challenging consumer environment and widespread discounting by other clothing brands and retailers.
“Since the period end, we have updated on our disappointing Christmas trading performance, resulting from a stock availability issue impacting our online channel. We identified the root cause, have taken steps to rebalance the allocation of stocks between channels for spring and summer 2020 and are strengthening our underlying processes.”
He added: “I am reassured by the performance we saw in the retail channels where we had good stock availability and by our continued online traffic growth, evidencing the strong customer demand which continues to exist for the Joules brand.
“Since joining Joules in September, I have been impressed by the strength of the brand, the flexibility of our multiple routes to market and our fantastic teams. I am confident in the opportunities for long-term sustainable growth of the Joules brand across multiple territories and I am excited to lead Joules through this next chapter of growth.”