Joules has reported a 1.4% drop in group revenue to £111.6m, for the 26 weeks ending 24 November 2019. The news comes after the lifestyle retailer announced “disappointing” sales over Christmas, due to poor online stock availability.
Underlying profit before tax also fell for the retailer, down £1m to £9.7m for the 26 week period.
The fall was attributed in part to the timing of Black Friday, which was included in last year’s first half figures, but will be included in the second half figures for the current financial year. On a comparable 27 week period, including Black Friday in both, Joules says group revenue increased by 1.3% and retail revenue increased by 3.1%.
Nick Jones, CEO of Joules, also noted that “disappointing” Christmas trading, caused by an issue with online stock availability had led to a shaky start to the new year for the business. “We identified the root cause, have taken steps to rebalance the allocation of stocks between channels for spring 20, and are strengthening our underlying processes,” he said. “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.”
Earlier this month, Joules flagged its poor Christmas performance as a result of the stock issue, and sales fell by 4.5% year on year over the seven-week Christmas period to 5 January 2020.
Despite the challenges, international and online continued to grow. International sales now make up 17% of Joules’s total, up from 15.8% last year. Online sales now make up 50% of retail revenue.