Quiz returns to profit but warns over possible cost of living sales hit

The Quiz store in Derry's Richmond Centre, one of five standalone shops in the north.
Holly Williams

FASHION chain Quiz has returned to annual profit thanks to recovering demand for party wear, but warned that sales may suffer as the cost-of-living squeeze tightens.

The group posted underlying pre-tax profits of £788,000 for the year to March 31 against losses of £9.6 million the previous year.

Quiz has five standalone stores in Northern Ireland, but it also operates via the concession model with five independent retailers - Menarys/Tempest and Cuddy's.

Revenues nearly doubled to £78.4m from £39.7m the year before thanks to the end of coronavirus restrictions and less lockdown disruption for stores and concessions.

The firm said turnover for the first three months of the new financial year was 62 per cent higher at £27.3m and back up to levels seen before the pandemic on a like-for-like basis.

But it cautioned over the "potential for sales later in the year to be impacted by the effect of the inflationary environment and increases in the cost of living on consumer confidence".

Tarak Ramzan, founder and chief executive, said: "Despite the well-documented challenges across the retail sector, we remain encouraged by customer demand for the Quiz brand, with sales up by 62 per cent in the year to date.

"Whilst there are significant levels of uncertainty impacting the consumer right now, we are confident that Quiz is well-positioned to continue to deliver against its strategy and drive long-term, sustainable and profitable growth."

Quiz said it had "marginally" hiked prices in the face of rising costs of garments and shipments.

It added: "The widely reported industry-wide global freight disruption and increased costs have affected, and continue to affect, the group.

"To date, we have minimised the impact of increased costs on customers arising from additional freight costs by adjusting delivery schedules to ensure that product is available when required."

Results show that trading across its 62 UK stores and five Irish outlets rebounded, with revenues up 250 per cent at £36.8m, while online sales remained robust, up 24 per cent over the year and 66 per cent up through its website.

In the three months since the year end, to June 30, online sales rose 58.2 per cent and stores saw a 79.1 per cent rise.