Joules boss Colin Porter is to step down from the fashion chain after five years at the helm.

Porter will retire before the end of the group’s 2019/20 financial year, sparking a hunt for his successor.

Joules floated in May 2016, when its share price surged to 195p on its stock market debut.

The business registered a spike in sales and profits in the first year after its float – underlying pre-tax profit in the 52 weeks to May 28, 2017 surged 34% to £10.1m – and it has gone from strength to strength since.

Joules said the exact timing of Porter’s departure was “still to be confirmed” but added that the timing of the announcement “ensures that there is sufficient time to ensure a smooth transition to his successor”.

Porter said: “Since joining Joules in 2010 the company has grown significantly. This reflects the strength of the brand and the skill and commitment of the entire team across the business.

“I can truly say that this is the most special company I have had the pleasure of working at during my career, and that is down to its amazing people and customers.

“I remain as committed as ever as we continue to focus on delighting our customers and delivering our strategy to further expand the Joules brand.”

Chairman Ian Filby added: “Colin has made a truly outstanding contribution to Joules since joining the business in 2010. During his tenure, Joules has achieved fantastic growth both in the UK and internationally.

“Joules has a committed, experienced and highly skilled executive management team who, along with Colin’s successor, will continue to focus on expanding Joules as a leading lifestyle brand.”