Joules has posted a spike in interim profits driven by sales rises across its UK and international markets despite “challenging” trading conditions.

The fashion and lifestyle retailer recorded a 24.3% jump in underlying pre-tax profit year on year to £9.3m in the 26 weeks to November 26, driven by an 18.2% rise in group revenue to £96.2m.

Joules, which reported a 19.2% boost in Christmas sales during the seven weeks to January 7, said its full-year profits will be “slightly ahead” of expectations.

The retailer’s retail revenue increased 16.2% bolstered by a 19.7% jump in online sales, while bricks-and-mortar sales went up 14.2%.

International revenue jumped 26.4% during the period, and now represents 11.3% of the fashion and lifestyle retailer’s revenue.

The retailer’s number of active customers increased 18% to one million.

Chief executive Colin Porter said: “The Joules brand has continued to perform very well, delivering growth in customer numbers and further expansion across channels, product categories and target markets.

“Joules’ brand, with its distinct heritage and values, underpins the group’s exciting growth potential as we continue to develop as a British lifestyle brand with broad international appeal.

“Whilst trading conditions look set to remain challenging across the sector, with our differentiated brand, unique product offer, loyal and growing customer base, exceptional team and well-invested infrastructure, Joules is well positioned for continued progress and expansion.”