Joules to post pre-tax loss following impact of Covid-19
Lifestyle clothing retailer Joules has said it expects to post a pre-tax loss for the year to 31 May following disruption to its business due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
In a pre-close update for the year ending 31 May, the retailer said trading had been impacted by store closures in the UK from 23 March and similar disruption in its main international markets of Germany and the US.
While its UK online business has remained operational since the start of lockdown with sales up 40%, its warehouse capacity has been constrained due to the introduction of Covid-19 social distancing and hygiene measures.
Nick Jones, Joules chief executive, said: “Whilst this continues to be an exceptionally challenging period for people, communities and businesses, I am delighted with how Joules has responded over recent months. We were quick to adapt to the initial disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic by bolstering our liquidity position, preserving cash and focusing our trading online.”
Group revenue in the year to 31 May was down 12% to £191 million while retail sales came in at around £146 million with store sales down 20%.
As a result, the company now expects to report a group underlying pre-tax loss of up to £3 million in the period.
On 15 June, Joules reopened 12 stores and has said it will now proceed cautiously with further reopenings over the coming weeks.
Jones added: “As we move out of lockdown and into a ‘new normal’ for retail, I am confident that Joules is exceptionally well positioned to continue to react to changing consumer behaviours and that our brand – which brightens our customers’ lives – is more relevant than ever to consumers.
“Whilst we will continue to face very challenging trading conditions over the coming months, the Joules customer base continues to grow, and I believe the brand is stronger than ever. We are now looking forward to the re-opening of our stores as well as those of our wholesale partners.”
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