Joules sales rise as fash­ion brand braces for hard Brexit

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Ashley Arm­strong

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

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