Quiz cautiously upbeat as recovery continues
Quiz is continuing its turnaround and on Wednesday reported increased demand for the brand driving revenue growth, plus a “significant increase” in profitability, and a strengthened cash position in the six months to the end of September.
The unaudited first-half results included group revenue rising to £49.4 million from £36 million and profit on an EBITDA basis hitting £3.7 million, up from £0.7 million. The pre-tax profit was £1.8 million, reversing a £1.3 million loss a year ago.
The revenue rise was impressive, although as well as reflecting increased demand for the brand, it was also a result of an easy comparison with the immediate post-pandemic period last year.
The gross margin increased 410bps to 61.6% from 57.5%, returning to H1 2020 levels on “improved full-price sell-through”.
Operating costs — that is, administrative and distribution costs — increased by only 25%, compared to the 37% increase in revenues, “as the group was able to leverage off its existing infrastructure”.
Quiz also said that UK store and concession revenues increased 48% to £24.6 million, with demand at pre-pandemic levels on a like-for-like basis.
And online revenues increased 29% to £16.1 million, driven by sales through Quiz’s own website. In fact, active customers on the website increased 14% since March 2022, “driven by continued effective investment in digital marketing during the period”.
Meanwhile, international revenues increased 26% to £8.7 million.
The company opened two stores in H1, taking the total store estate to 62 stores in the UK and six in the Republic of Ireland. One further store opening has happened in the UK since September.
Sales for the two months to 30 November, including the Black Friday period, were £16 million, roughly flat year on year, as expected, with demand in recent weeks helping to offset weaker than anticipated revenues in October.
The firm said it knows it’s not immune to the widely reported cost of living and inflationary pressures impacting the sector and the near-term outlook is difficult to predict.
But it continues to “anticipate delivering a full-year outcome which will be at least in line with market expectations”.
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