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Wednesday 18 September 2019

Quiz shares sink after ‘challenging’ summer trading

The group’s stock dropped as much as 14% after it said trading has remained tough, with underlying sales broadly flat.

Undated handout photo issued by Quiz of their Westfield Stratford store, as the fast fashion firm warned trading conditions have remained ‘challenging’ over the summer (Quiz/PA)
Undated handout photo issued by Quiz of their Westfield Stratford store, as the fast fashion firm warned trading conditions have remained ‘challenging’ over the summer (Quiz/PA)

By Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor

Fast fashion firm Quiz has seen shares tumble after warning summer trading has remained “challenging” as fewer people visited its shops.

The group’s stock dropped as much as 14% after it said revenues in its financial year so far were “broadly” flat on a year earlier, but that is after stripping out sales lost from unprofitable business streams which have now been ended.

Peter Cowgill, chairman of Quiz, said: “The challenging trading conditions reported at the time of the group’s announcement on June 11 2019 have persisted over the summer months.

“Consistent with the widely reported conditions on the UK high street, the business has experienced a reduction in store footfall during the period compared to the previous year when the group experienced particularly strong demand.”

Quiz, which is holding its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, said trading conditions are set to remain difficult, but put faith in its online focus to help return it to profit growth.

It added that online sales had continued to rise since its annual results on June 11.

Quiz – which had warned over profits in January and March this year – confirmed in June that full-year profits were almost entirely wiped out – crashing 97% to £0.2 million.

The firm blamed the downturn in profitability on the decline in high street footfall and weakened consumer confidence amid political uncertainty.

But Quiz reported revenue growth over the year across all channels, including a 32% jump in online sales to £41 million.

It is leading a turnaround plan to focus further on online sales, while it has also been ending some third-party online contracts, reducing its exposure to department stores and actively managing its store estate as leases come up for renewal.

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