Quiz shares fall amid warning on consumer demand

Shares of Glasgow-based fashion firm Quiz plc fell as much as 20% on Monday as it published a trading update for the financial year ended March 31, 2023, showing revenue rose 17% to £91.7 million — but warned of “significant pressures on consumer spending.”

In its outlook, Quiz said: “The board is pleased with the positive performance during the year and that FY23 profit before tax is anticipated to be at least in line with current market expectations. 

“However, the widely reported and significant pressures on consumer spending seen in recent months are expected to continue into the new financial year.

“The board believes these external headwinds may impact consumer demand across the group’s sector over the coming months, reducing its visibility for FY24.

“Notwithstanding this, the board remains highly confident that the strength of the Quiz brand and the group’s model provide a solid basis for future growth.”

Quiz shares fell about 20% to around 13p to give the firm a stock market value of £16 million.

Quiz said in its trading update: “In the early months of FY23 the group’s revenue growth benefited from a strong recovery in consumer demand for Quiz’s products following the removal of coronavirus-related social restrictions. 

“Consistent with many other fashion and clothing retailers, year-on-year growth subsequently moderated as inflationary pressures began to impact consumer confidence.

“As a result of these external headwinds and partially reflecting the strong prior year comparatives, like-for-like revenues in February and March 2023 were lower than the previous year.

“However, despite the challenging trading conditions in recent months, group revenues in the final three months of FY23 were broadly consistent with those generated in the comparable period in FY2019, that being the last period unaffected by coronavirus related factors.

“Gross margins for the year were in line with management expectations and consistent with those recorded in the previous year.  

“As a result, the group is pleased to confirm that it anticipates reporting increased profitability in FY23 with a profit before tax of no less than £2.0 million (FY22: £0.8 million).”

Quiz CEO Tarak Ramzan said: “The group delivered a good performance in FY23 achieving revenue growth across each of its channels reflecting the strength of Quiz’s trademark dressy and occasion wear product offering.

“This outcome, which was achieved despite the challenging market backdrop in recent months, is a strong testament to our flexible model and differentiated brand.

“Whilst the external trading environment is expected to remain challenging in the near term, we remain highly confident in the group’s long-term prospects.”