Quiz swings to full year loss
Quiz has swung to a loss and seen its group revenue decline by 10% to £118 million in the 12 months to 31 March in what it described as a challenging year.
In its preliminary results statement, the fashion retailer said trading was impacted by economic uncertainty and the ongoing shift to online retailing, as well as the effect of Covid-19 lockdowns in the final month of the period.
Online revenue dropped by 9% to £37.5 million which was mainly due to lower sales via third-party websites. Sales volumes through the Quiz website were consistent with the previous 12-month period, but more profitable year- on-year.
Meanwhile revenue from UK stores and concessions decreased by 12% to £58.7 million. International sales were also down, declining by 5% to £21.8 million.
Tarak Ramzan, Quiz founder and chief executive, said: “Whilst we are pleased with the further growth in our customer base during FY20, this was a challenging year for Quiz characterised by macro-economic uncertainty and challenges presented by the accelerating structural shift towards online retail.
“In addition, from early March the group, along with the wider retail sector, faced significant challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The board has taken decisive action to protect its customers and its people, preserve liquidity, and restructure its store estate to align the group’s business model to the new reality of store retail.”
The results meant that the company made a pre-tax loss of £29.4 million compared to a profit of £0.2 million in the prior year.
Quiz has recently completed a store restructuring exercise and now says it has a more economically viable store portfolio with an average lease term of 24 months and a significantly lower cost base. It has also rebalanced its product offering towards more casual clothing due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19.
Since the year-end, Quiz has reopened 60 stores in the UK and four in Ireland following the end of lockdowns. Due to the impact of Covid-19, the company’s sales have declined by 73% to £17.2 million in the six months to 30 September.
Ramzan added: “Looking ahead, we remain confident in the strength of our brand and believe that underlying customer demand remains strong for the brand’s trademark occasion wear which we aim to capitalise on when restrictions on social events are eased. We are confident that the actions we have taken to preserve liquidity and reduce our cost base while continuing to invest in the brand mean that the group can return to profitable growth as market conditions improve.”
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