StockMarketWire.com - Fashion retailer Joules said it expected underlying first-half pre-tax profit would be slightly ahead of initial expectations after revenue rose 18% amid strong e-commerce growth.

'Given this sales performance, the board anticipates announcing a level of underlying Profit Before Tax (PBT) that is slightly ahead of initial expectations for the period,' the company said.

For the six months to 25 November, group revenue increased by 17.6% to £113.1m.

The uptick in revenue was led by strong growth in retail, where sales grew 21.2% to £79.9m, while e-commerce performed 'particularly well' in the first half now represented nearly half of all retail sales, the company said.

Looking ahead, the company forecasts trading conditions in the UK would remain challenging over the near term, with continued macroeconomic uncertainty, rapidly changing consumer shopping behaviours and a highly competitive environment.

'I am delighted to update on what has been another period of strong performance for Joules despite challenging trading conditions. This performance, which is ahead of our initial expectations for the Period, is testament to the strength of the Joules brand, the engagement of our loyal customers with our product collections, and our fantastic teams,' said Colin Porter, Chief Executive Officer.

'In the UK, our 'total retail' cross-channel model, underpinned by investment in infrastructure, has proven to be well suited to today's rapidly changing consumer shopping behaviours. In addition, our international wholesale business continues to make excellent progress by both increasing sales to existing accounts and developing new accounts.'

At 9:39am: [LON:JOUL] Joules Group Plc share price was +16p at 223p



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