Fashion retailer Joules saw shares dive by a quarter after it warned that profits would slide following supply chain issues over the key Christmas trading period.

The company told investors that its annual pre-tax profits will be "significantly" behind forecasts after festive sales slumped compared with the same period a year earlier.

Sales in the seven weeks to January 5 dropped 4.5 per cent, falling significantly short of expectations and Christmas sales growth of 11.7 per cent in the same period a year ago.

Joules has stores in Kendal, Bowness and Keswick.

Its chief executive Nick Jones said the retailer was "disappointed" with its "inability to fully satisfy our customers' demand" for online shopping during its Christmas sale.

He said Joules has identified the root cause of the "one-off issue" and has taken steps to prevent its re-occurrence.

The company said that, although traffic to its website grew by 8 per cent, the "stock availability issue" resulted in disappointing revenues from its online operations.

However, sales in its other retail channels, including high street stores and concessions, performed in line with expectations.

Mr Jones added: "Demand for the Joules brand and its unique products remains strong, with continued growth in total customer numbers and website traffic as well as robust results in our stores and partner retail channels.

"We remain focused on continuing to expand the Joules brand and are making significant enhancements to our supply chain operations in the UK and US to deliver both future capacity growth and efficiency."