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QUIZ sales slump on back of forced store closures

Lauretta Roberts
26 January 2021

Sales at fast fashion retailer slumped by 73% to £17.2m in the six months to 30 September as it was hit by forced store closures due to the pandemic.

The group carried out an administration of its stores division last June resulting in the permanent closure of some loss-making sites. Prior to the restructure it operated 82 stores and now operates 64 stores in the UK and Ireland.

As a result of the administration it recorded a non-cash gain of £16.2m and an underlying EBITDA loss of £3.4m (H1 2020: profit of £6.3m).

The Glasgow-based company, which specialises in partywear and influencer-led collections, said it had undertaken significant cost reductions as a result of the pandemic and had switched many of its stores to more flexible leases.

Since 30 September 2020 revenues have continued to be impacted by lower demand due to continued social restrictions and stores and concessions being subject to closure. It achieved a stronger sales performance in December relative to other months when all sales channels were operating.

Net cash at 25 January 2021 was £3m with £3.5m of undrawn banking facilities

Tarak Ramzan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "As with other omni-channel retailers, QUIZ has faced significant challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have taken a number of actions to protect our customers and people, preserve liquidity, and restructure the size and cost base of our store estate to adjust to the new normal of retail.

"Whilst we continue to rebalance our product offering towards more casual clothing reflecting near term customer demand, given our focus on occasion wear, demand for our products has been impacted significantly by the pandemic. However, we remain confident in the strength of our brand and are highly confident that demand for the brand's trademark occasion wear will recover when restrictions on social events are eased.

"The Period covered by this statement was particularly challenging for the Group and its stakeholders and I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate my thanks to our colleagues and partners for their commitment, support and flexibility. We are confident that the actions taken to preserve liquidity and reduce our cost base mean that the Group can return to profitable growth as market conditions improve."

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