Joules has announced it has raised both its revenue and pre-tax profit guidance after being “encouraged” by recent momentum across its retail channels.
In its latest update for the 11 months to 2 May 2021, the group said it has continued to deliver a “positive performance” across its retail channels that have been able to trade within the context of the UK’s ongoing lockdown restrictions.
The group said this positive performance has been driven by continued strong sales on its 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.
Its e-commerce has also continued to deliver strong growth in the period, with demand on its websites growing 50% year-to-date against the comparable prior year period, up from the 47% growth reported in the first half of the financial year.
Its digital lifestyle marketplace of third-party brands, Friends of Joules, has also continued its “strong growth momentum”, reflecting the increased number of curated products and ranges now available to its digital customer base.
In addition, the group’s stores have performed ahead of expectations since reopening last month, with sales for the four weeks since reopening ahead of the comparable period two years ago. Joules said this “pleasing performance” reflects a combination of pent-up consumer demand as well as the “attractive, predominantly lifestyle” locations of its store estate.
Garden Trading, which was acquired in February, has also performed ahead of expectations over the first three months since the acquisition, with sales up 85% against the comparable prior year period.
Nick Jones, CEO of Joules, said: “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.
“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. This has been a great testament to the growing appeal of the Joules brand, the attractive, lifestyle locations of our store portfolio and the hard work and dedication of our colleagues across the business during this time.”
He added: “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.”