By Kristy Dorsey

Revenues at Quiz plunged by nearly three-quarters in the first half of the current financial year as the beleaguered fast fashion retailer grappled with the fall-out from the pandemic and controversy over the behaviour of one of its suppliers.

Despite these difficulties, chief executive Tarak Ramzan said the Glasgow-based group was confident in its ability to “return to profitable growth as market conditions improve”. He noted that the board has taken “decisive action” to preserve liquidity while restructuring the Quiz store estate.

“We continue to rebalance our product offering towards more casual clothing to meet the changing lifestyles of our customers,” he said. “Looking ahead, we remain confident in the strength of our brand and believe that underlying customer demand remains strong for the brand’s trademark occasion wear which we aim to capitalise on when restrictions on social events are eased.”

READ MORE: Quiz reveals locations of latest closures following sales plunge

During the financial year to the end of March, Quiz made a pre-tax loss of £29.4 million against a profit of £200,000 in the previous 12 months. Revenues fell by 10 per cent to £118m as the onset of Covid-19 restrictions shut down its stores in the final month of the financial year.

Revenues have continued to suffer since then, with Quiz reporting a 73% decline in sales during the six months to the end of September.

The year-end loss included £26.3m of impairments and write-offs, including £13.7m of non-recurring costs from the restructuring of its retail estate. A pre-pack administration carried out in June resulted in the closure of 11 outlets, followed by a second wave as the group attempted to re-negotiate rental agreements with its landlords.

Quiz said it has to date re-opened 60 stores in the UK and four in the Republic of Ireland, with negotiations continuing with regards to five further sites.

READ MORE: Glasgow’s Quiz distances itself from worker exploitation claims

Following allegations of worker exploitation that led Quiz to suspend one of its suppliers in Leicester in July, the group said it has now completed a “thorough review” of its auditing processes to ensure compliance with its Ethical Code of Practice throughout its supply chain.

On the financial front, Quiz has agreed an extension of its existing £3.5m banking facilities to the end of October next year. As of October 26, it had £4.8m of cash and £3.5m of undrawn banking facilities.

Shares in AIM-listed Quiz closed unchanged yesterday at 7.2p.