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Quiz fails to offset declining sales with online ramp-up

The retailer said sales suffered as the UK retail sector “has remained under pressure during the period impacted by macro-economic uncertainty”

Quiz PLC -

Quiz PLC (LON:QUIZ) shares tumbled as the troubled clothing chain's falling in-store sales undermined its online retailing ramp-up.

The fast-fashion retailer said online sales grew 7% to £20mln in the half-year to 30 September but overall sales dropped 5% to £63.3mln, which it blamed on a wider UK retail sector being hit by macro-economic uncertainty.

READ: Quiz scraps dividend after House of Fraser collapse and discounting hit profits

Group underlying profit before tax plunged 85% to £0.6mln compared to the same period last year, though this compared to a £3.6m interim loss a year ago.

Quiz said that it managed to shave £2.7mln, or 4%, off its costs as it addressing weakness in physical stores by “renegotiating rents where possible and exiting a number of loss-making concessions”.

The company said that over the next two years it will have the opportunity to renegotiate or terminate leases in 50% of our UK stores.

Back in October, Quiz announced plans to save £2mln-£3mln with a cost-cutting programme to shift its focus online, continuing a disastrous run that included the scrapping of the dividend in June after the collapse of high street department store House of Fraser and more aggressive discounting wiped out almost all its profits.

Although Quiz is seeing more visits to its website and a better conversion rate, this was more than offset by declines at UK standalone stores and concessions.

Directors said the dividend would remain suspended.

Shares were down 10% at 15p in early trading on Wednesday.

Quick facts: Quiz PLC

Price: 8.75 GBX

AIM:QUIZ
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £10.87 m
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