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Fashion retailer Joules preps for no-deal Brexit with EU facility

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Fashion retailer Joules preps for no-deal Brexit with EU facility

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(Reuters) - Fashion retailer Joules Group Plc <JOUL.L> is establishing a European union-based distribution facility and bringing inventory of its 2019 spring-summer collection into the UK earlier than usual as it prepares for a no-deal Brexit.

Joules Group, which designs and sells colourful clothes, accessories and furnishings, also said on Wednesday it was preparing for an expected increase in administrative activities and hedging currency more than 12 months forward ahead of the UK's planned departure from the EU bloc.

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The company, best known for its hand-drawn or hand-painted prints, joined a growing list of major UK companies that have announced plans to minimize disruptions to its operations in case the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

Joules also posted a 17.6 percent rise in revenue to 113.1 million pounds in the 26 weeks to Nov. 25, partly helped by rapid growth in its international business as tough retail conditions remain in its home market.

The strong sales growth pushed the company to forecast underlying pretax profit slightly ahead of its initial expectations for the period.

It forecast full-year 2019 profit before tax in line with its expectations, citing a robust first half and a strong spring-summer 2019 wholesale order-book.

Joules shares were up 3.9 percent at 215 pence in early trading on the junior market of the London Stock Exchange.

However, the company echoed comments from retail rivals that trading conditions in the UK will remain challenging over the near term, as macroeconomic uncertainty persists in a highly competitive space where consumer shopping behaviours are rapidly changing.

(Reporting by Karina Dsouza and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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