INTERIM RESULTS FOR THE 26 WEEKS ENDED 24 NOVEMBER 2019 (THE "PERIOD")

Robust first half sales and margin performance in the context of a challenging consumer environment

Highlights:

26 weeks ended

24 November 2019

25 November 2018Change
Group Revenue£111.6m113.1m(1.4) %
- Retail revenue for 27-week period1+3.1%
PBT before exceptional costs²£8.4m£9.3m£(0.9)m
Memo: Underlying PBT³£9.7m£10.7m£(1.0)m
Statutory PBT£1.7m£9.3m

  • Results were impacted by the timing of the Black Friday trading period, which was in H2 in FY20 but in H1 in the prior year
  • Group revenue decreased by 1.4% to £111.6 million.  On a comparable 27-week period¹, including Black Friday in both periods, Group revenue increased by 1.3% and Retail revenue increased by 3.1%
  • International now represents 17.0% of Group revenue (H1 FY19: 15.8%)
  • E-commerce now represents over 50% of Retail revenue (H1 FY19: 46.5%)
  • Active customers⁴ increased by 8% to 1.4 million
  • Group gross margin was in line with the prior year at 54.8%: Retail gross margin up 50bps to 60.8%, with disciplined management of promotions and benefit from exchange rate hedging
  • PBT before exceptional costs² decreased by £0.9 million to £8.4 million, impacted by the timing of the Black Friday trading period and the adoption of IFRS 16 - Leases
  • Statutory PBT decreased to £1.7 million (H1 FY19: £9.3m) after non-cash exceptional impairment charges of £6.7 million (H1 FY19: £nil), relating to stores, Head Office premises and changes in distribution arrangements
  • Net cash of £2.1 million (H1 FY19: £4.3m), a decrease of £2.2 million due to Head Office capital expenditure and changes in timings of tax payments
  • Interim dividend of 0.77 pence per share proposed (H1 FY19: 0.75 pence per share)
  • As announced on 10 January, a disappointing Christmas trading period due to online stock availability issues, along with non-recurring costs associated with supply chain initiatives and China-US tariffs, has impacted full year profit expectations

Nick Jones, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"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. This performance reflects the appeal of the Joules brand, our growing customer base and the flexibility of our 'Total Retail' model.

During the Period, we invested further in our infrastructure and customer proposition in order to support long-term sustainable growth. This included the roll-out of our new point of sale system across our store estate, enhancing the future profitability and flexibility of our store channel, progressing our new Head Office development, and launching our 'Friends of Joules' marketplace. Post period end, this investment has continued with the announcement of improvements to our future logistics capability in the UK and US.

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 / Summer 2020 and are strengthening our underlying processes. 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."

Notes:

1. The 27-week comparable period, including Black Friday in both periods, is 27 May to 3 December 2019 compared to 28 May to 4 December 2018.
2. PBT before exceptional costs includes share-based payments in both periods, includes the impact of IFRS 16 - Leases for the Period but not the prior period and excludes the non-cash exceptional impairment charge. Further details of the impact of IFRS 16 - Leases in the Period are provided in the Financial Review.
3. Underlying PBT has historically been the Group’s primary non-GAAP reporting metric and is stated before share-based payments, the impact of IFRS 16 - Leases and exceptional costs.
4. A customer registered on our database who has transacted in the last 12 months. 

ENQUIRIES:

Joules Group plc
Nick Jones, CEO
Marc Dench, CFO
Tel: +44 (0) 1858 435 255

Hudson Sandler (Financial PR)
Alex Brennan
Lucy Wollam
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133

Peel Hunt LLP, Nominated Advisor and Joint Broker
George Sellar
Andrew Clark
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Liberum Capital Limited, Joint Broker
John Fishley
Edward Thomas
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.

www.joules.com | www.joulesgroup.com

JOULES FAST FACTS

  • Joules is an international brand, available in the UK, USA, Germany and other international markets
  • Joules has a significant online business, operates across 124* stores in the UK and ROI across a range of location types and has a well-established wholesale business with over 2,000 stockists worldwide
  • Joules’ talented in-house print design team lovingly hand-draw all the prints and unexpected unique details you see within its collections each season
  • Joules is proud of its British heritage and still has strong roots in Market Harborough, the site of its first shop and Head Office – since day one
  • Nick Jones joined the business in September 2019, taking over as CEO in October 2019. Tom Joule continues to focus on the creative side of the business in his capacity as Chief Brand Officer
  • Joules’ performance has been recognised through a number of awards including:
    • Mainstream Brand of the Year – Drapers Awards 2019, 2017 and 2016
    • Best Licensed Fashion or Talent Brand Award - Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards 2019
    • Best Licensed Gifting Product Award - Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Award 2019
    • The Best Fashion Retailer (Mark of Excellence) - Retail Week Awards 2019 and 2018
    • Fashion Retail Business of the Year (between £101m-£500m turnover) - Drapers Awards 2018 and 2017

*As at 24 November 2019, excluding concessions and franchises (33 concessions and 3 franchise stores)