Quiz recovery continues although recent trading has slowed
Quiz is continuing its recovery with a trading update on Monday for the six months to the end of September showing revenues rose 37.2% year on year to £49.4 million.
That was “marginally ahead” of the board's expectations and “reflects the appeal of the Quiz brand and its strong reputation amongst its customers for dressy and occasionwear”.
It benefited from “demand recovering further to the removal of coronavirus-related social restrictions”.
That said, the revenue growth rate “moderated” as the period progressed during August and September, “a trend consistent with other fashion retail businesses as inflationary pressures began to impact consumer confidence”.
The company is clearly suffering from the same problems here that are being seen by the rest of the retail sector. But a saving grace could be the fact that its occasionwear specialism could mean demand continues to hold up with the Christmas party season looming.
Back with the half year, the gross margin “benefited from stronger demand for full-price products and was ahead of comparable periods in recent years. This reflects the success to date in recovering higher product costs which, along with other costs, have been subject to inflationary pressures through the period”.
The company said that revenue from UK stores and concessions rose 48.2% to £24.6 million. In fact, revenues from this channel were consistently higher than pre-pandemic on a like-for-like basis. At the end of the period the company operated 62 UK stores, up from 61 a year earlier. It also operated 62 concessions, down from 70 a year ago, although the company remains committed to concessions given that they continue to provide it with a “flexible and low-cost route to market”.
Its online revenues in the period grew 28.8% to £16.1 million. Sales through its own websites rose to £11.3 million from £8.8 million with sales to third-party websites up to £4.8 million from £3.7 million.
Although the company improved its average transaction value, it said the benefit of this was partly mitigated by a higher level of returns, something mentioned by a number of other fashion retailers.
Sales in its international division rose 26.1% to £8.7 million. At the end of the period, the group operated six Irish stores and 15 concessions there. Revenues from international franchise partners rose to £5.4 million from £5.2 million and the company said it’s confident that it can achieve long-term profitable international growth.
The group also said it's confident that demand for its products over the rest of the financial year will hold up, even while the impact of the current cost-of-living crisis remains uncertain.
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