A number of private equity firms are eyeing purchasing a stake in fashion retailer Joules, which is poised to report an increase in profits.

The 70-store retailer hired advisers Rothschild in November and it is understood that Graphite Capital is among the handful of firms considering investing in Joules, the Evening Standard reported. 

Joules is looking to sell a minority stake to fund domestic and overseas expansion and is valued at £49m, it is understood.

The retailer is expected to record underlying profits of £7m in the year to May. Last year it reported a pre-tax profit of £1.2m.

Joules has been expanding its offering through a number of strategic moves. In the last year it has extended its range to homewares and toys and is eyeing international expansion. 

The retailer is plotting a push into the US and South East Asia either through physical stores or an online venture as well as building on its franchise stores in France and Sweden.