Womenswear brand Quiz has released its financial results for the six-month period ending in September, revealing a decline in sales and profits. The company is now conducting a review of its options to address the ongoing challenges it faces. Despite these difficulties, Quiz remains optimistic about its long-term potential.

In terms of numbers, group revenue dropped from £49.4 million to £42.3 million, while EBITDA fell from £3.7 million to £1.1 million compared to the previous year. The company also experienced a loss before tax of £1.5 million, having previously made a profit of £1.8 million in the same period.

Operating cash flows also decreased from £6.5 million to £2.1 million, and net cash, after borrowing, declined from £9.2 million to £3.6 million. These results can be attributed to challenging comparisons with the previous year and inflationary pressures affecting consumer demand. UK store revenues and online revenues dropped by 11% and 22% respectively, while international revenues experienced an 11% decline.

Despite these setbacks, Quiz was able to increase its gross margin to 61.8%, a slight improvement from 61.6%, due to its focus on full-price sell-through. The company also expanded its store network by opening three stores, relocating two, and closing two during the reporting period, resulting in a total of 64 stores in the UK and five in the Republic of Ireland.

Looking ahead, Quiz’s short-term outlook is uncertain. Sales for the two months up until November amounted to £14.1 million, down from £16 million in the previous year and below management expectations. While the crucial Christmas trading period and January sales are yet to come, the company remains cautious and anticipates that full-year revenues will be 6% to 8% lower than current market expectations.

Nevertheless, Quiz maintains its belief in the strength and uniqueness of its brand, as well as the relevance of its omnichannel business model. However, in light of its trading performance, the company’s board of directors has initiated a comprehensive review of strategic options to maximize shareholder value. The review, led by independent chairman Peter Cowgill, is expected to provide outcomes in the first quarter of next year.

Founder and CEO Tarak Ramzan acknowledged the challenging landscape faced by retailers, including Quiz. However, he remains confident in the brand’s ability to offer fashionable looks at affordable prices. Ramzan emphasized the importance of making the right decisions for long-term success, such as protecting full-price sales and effectively managing the store portfolio. He expressed the belief that exploring various options is prudent given the prolonged period of challenging trading conditions in order to maximize shareholder value.

Useful links:
1. Retail Gazette – Quiz Financial Results
2. Draper Midan – Quiz Financial Review