Joules anticipating £3m loss due to COVID-19
Joules has reported that it expects to end 2020 with an underlying loss of between £2-£3 million before tax for the year to 31 May.
Since early March, Joules has been focused on managing both the immediate and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on the business.
From 23 March until after the Period end, the entire Joules store portfolio was closed alongside the stores of its UK wholesale partners in accordance with UK Government guidance.
Joules' UK e-commerce channel has remained available to customers throughout the lockdown period but has operated with constrained warehouse capacity to ensure strict compliance with social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
E-commerce demand from the start of lockdown to the end of the period was significantly ahead of expectations, 40% higher than the comparable period last year.
In addition to the cash preservation initiatives implemented by the Group, on 3 April, Joules announced a successful equity placing to raise gross proceeds of £15 million.
On 21 April, the Group announced the completion of a £15 million increase to its revolving credit facility with Barclays Bank plc.
As a result of these actions, as well as the better than anticipated trading during the period since lockdown, the Group ended FY20 with net cash of £4 million and headroom of £53 million against committed borrowing facilities.
Nick Jones, CEO of Joules, commented: “Whilst this continues to be an exceptionally challenging period for people, communities and businesses, I am delighted with how Joules has responded over recent months. We were quick to adapt to the initial disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic by bolstering our liquidity position, preserving cash and focusing our trading online.
"We are very encouraged with the significant 40% growth in e-commerce demand during the lockdown period, which is particularly pleasing given the already established scale of our e-commerce operations.
"As we move out of lockdown and into a ‘new normal’ for retail, I am confident that Joules is exceptionally well positioned to continue to react to changing consumer behaviours and that our brand - which brightens our customers’ lives - is more relevant than ever to consumers."