Joules has recorded a rise in profits above expectations, which boss Colin Porter says is a “testament to the strength of our distinctive brand”.

The fashion retailer recorded a 14.7% uplift in underlying pre-tax profit to £10.7m in the 26 weeks to November 25 2018, driven by a 17.6% climb in group revenue to £113.1m.

The retailer’s international revenue soared 64.2% during the period to represent 15.8% of overall group revenue, while the number of active customers increased 20% to 1.4 million.

Joules, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, also recorded strong Christmas sales during the Christmas trading period, up 11.7% in the seven weeks to January 6.

The fashion retailer reiterated its current full-year profit expectations after increasing its interim profit forecast last month.

Chief executive Colin Porter said: “Joules has delivered another strong performance in the first half of year. As previously reported, this outcome is ahead of our initial expectations for the Period and has been achieved despite challenging trading conditions.

The business’s success during this first half of the year is testament to the strength of our distinctive brand and the efforts of our fantastic team. We continue to benefit from a well-invested and flexible ‘total retail’ model in the UK, which enables us to respond and adapt to shifting customer preferences. Internationally, the brand continues to grow very well in both the US and Germany.

We have continued to trade well since the period end with a good performance through the festive period and positive customer reactions to our new collections. We have an outstanding brand, good momentum and a growing customer base and we look forward to the second half of the financial year with confidence.”