Joules, the premium British lifestyle brand, provides an update on its financial position and recent operational performance.
Financial position update
Further to the Group's announcement on 2nd April 2020, Joules today confirms the successful completion of its £15 million increase to its revolving credit facility ('RCF') with Barclays Bank plc. This follows the Group's recent successful equity placing, announced on 3rd April 2020, from which the Group raised gross proceeds of £15 million.
As previously announced, the Group has taken a significant number of mitigating actions to conserve cash throughout this period of significant global macro-economic uncertainty. These actions continue to involve the cooperation of many of the Group's key stakeholders including stock suppliers, non-stock suppliers, landlords, and employees and the Group is grateful for their ongoing support. The Board believes that these proactive actions, in combination with the recent equity placing and increase in the Group's RCF, has significantly strengthened Joules' balance sheet, providing Joules with sufficient liquidity headroom to manage a COVID-19-related downside scenario and the resources to emerge relatively stronger from this unprecedented situation.
The Group's net debt position at 19th April 2020 was £6.9m with £43.1m of available headroom.
The Group's e-commerce channel, which typically represents approximately half of the Group's overall retail sales, remains open for business. Customer demand is being managed carefully to ensure that the Group's distribution centre partner is operating safely and in strict accordance with government and health authority guidance at all times, including ensuring robust physical distancing and hygiene procedures.
Customer traffic and demand to Joules.com has been running ahead of the Group's revised expectations, set at the time of entering the UK Government's lockdown period, and we continue to see strong levels of customer engagement with the brand across our social media channels and with our digital marketplace, Friends of Joules.
Joules is mindful of the contribution it can make to society at this challenging time. In mid-April, Joules curated a 'Rainbow Edit' collection, with all profits generated from sales of this collection going to NHS Charities Together. The Group is pleased to announce that so far nearly £35,000 has been raised to support the charity. In addition, Joules has been able to utilise its supply chain to support local Leicestershire health services and key partners through the provision of personal protective equipment ('PPE') with a donation of approximately 50,000 masks sourced so far.
Nick Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Joules, commented:
"The completion of the additional facility with Barclays Bank plc provides Joules with further liquidity to navigate these challenging times and positions the business to continue to progress its strategic growth plans following the current period of significant disruption.
Our e-commerce sales over recent weeks continue to demonstrate the strength of the Joules brand and the loyalty of our customer base. We know that further challenging times are ahead, but we are confident that, with the continued support of our colleagues, customers and the wider Joules community of suppliers and partners, Joules is well positioned to manage these challenges."
Joules Group plc
Nick Jones, CEO
Marc Dench, CFO
Tel: +44 (0) 1858 435 255
Hudson Sandler (Financial PR)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133
Peel Hunt LLP, Nominated Advisor and Joint Broker
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900
Liberum Capital Limited, Joint Broker
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3100 2000
Joules - a premium lifestyle brand with an authentic British heritage
Established in Britain by Tom Joule three decades ago, Joules is a premium lifestyle brand with an authentic heritage.
The Joules story began in 1989, when Tom Joule started selling clothing on a stand at a country show in Leicestershire. Today, it is a true multi-channel lifestyle brand; its products are available through its e-commerce websites, retail stores, at rural shows and events and wholesale channels both in the UK and internationally.
Joules carefully designs and sells clothing, footwear and accessories for women, men and children, as well as ever-growing homeware, eyewear and licensed product collections.
The brand's values of quality, Britishness, family and humour, coupled with its unique use of colour and print set Joules apart. This approach, along with an unwavering attention to detail and drive to surprise and delight its customers with unexpected details, has been central to the brand's success and remains at the heart of everything Joules creates.
During 2019 the brand celebrated its 30th birthday, marking three decades of Joules delivering fun, quality clothing for families and friends to make lasting memories together.