Joules sales rise as fashion brand braces for hard Brexit
FASHION brand Joules, known for its brightly coloured designs, has taken early deliveries of its spring and summer ranges and set up an EU warehouse as it braces for a no-deal Brexit.
The company is also preparing for increased paperwork that could result from stricter customs checks and has hedged its US currency requirements for the next year “to mitigate the expected disruption that could arise in the event of a hard Brexit”.
Joules joins the growing list of British companies, including drugs firm AstraZeneca and drinks merchant Majestic Wine, that are scrambling to stockpile products and looking for alternative routes in fear that ports at Dover will be thrown into chaos from increased checks.
The fashion brand, which makes everything from wellies to scarves and pyjamas, said that it anticipated trading conditions in the UK to “remain challenging over the near term, with continued macroeconomic uncertainty, rapidly changing consumer shopping behaviours and a highly competitive environment”.
Despite the cautious outlook, Joules expects underlying profits for its full year to be “slightly ahead” of initial forecasts after group sales jumped by 17.6pc to £113.1m in the six months to November.
Shrugging off the gloom elsewhere on the high street, Joules said that the sales growth reflected the strength of its brand as well as its online and international growth. Half of Joules sales are now online while 16pc come from overseas.
Colin Porter, chief executive, said: “I am delighted to update on what has been another period of strong performance for Joules despite challenging trading conditions. We have an outstanding brand, good momentum and a growing customer base, and we look forward to the second half of the financial year with confidence.”
Fashion brand Joules expects underlying profits for its full year to be “slightly ahead” of initial forecasts