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Joules drops interim dividend, cuts costs

The clothier said it is planning for "multiple scenarios" while dropping the payout will save £700,000

Joules Group PLC - Joules drops interim divi, cuts costs

Joules Group PLC (LON:JOUL) has decided to cancel its proposed interim dividend, saving £700,000 of cash, while “removing cost and non-critical capex” as it flagged up the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business.

In an update, the “British countryside” fashion retailer said it could not provide financial guidance at this stage.

READ: Joules Group rallies after 'sorting' stock and distribution problem

The clothier said the period between end of January and March performed in line with expectations, but since the coronavirus outbreak it has experienced a decline in store footfall and revenue “which has significantly accelerated over recent days”.

The AIM-listed firm said it “continues to plan for multiple scenario”, adding that it has £16mln in cash, a “strong” relationship with its bank Barclays and “a supportive” founder and major shareholder, Tom Joule. 

Analysts at house broker Liberum placed the recommendation and the target price under review from 'buy' and 260p.

"Capex will be paired back significantly and discussions with landlords, HMRC and an internal review of all costs will no doubt all be part of the strategy to protect the business," they commented.

Shares rose 20% to 48p on Thursday morning.

--Adds analyst's comment, updates shares--

Quick facts: Joules Group PLC

Price: 113.5 GBX

AIM:JOUL
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £122.73 m
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