Quiz has reported a loss before tax and warned its stakeholders about the potential loss of sales due to the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the run-up to Christmas.

For the six months to September 30, 2021, Quiz reported a loss before tax of £1.3m, despite an increase in group revenues from £17.2m to £36m. 

The retailer also reported an underlying loss of £1.3m and a slump in EBITDA from £12.9m to £0.7m. Although Quiz reported an increase in underlying EBITDA from a £3.3m loss last year to £0.7m for this period. 

Quiz reported that total liquidity headroom at 30 September 2021 of £6.6m, being cash net of borrowings of £4.2m and £2.2m of unutilised bank facilities.

Online sales grew 43% during the period on Quiz’s website and 27% in total, while active customers increased by 30% compared to the previous year. 

The retailer said that sales in the two months to November 30 were at pre-Covid levels, but worried of the effect the emergence of the new Omicron variant could have on sales during the crucial Christmas period. 

Quiz said it was “confident” it could return to profitability “in a trading environment not significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions”.

Founder and chief executive Tarik Ramzan said: “QUIZ has delivered an encouraging set of results during the period with strong cash flows generated and a return to positive EBITDA. The removal of the social restrictions resulted in a substantial uplift in revenues in the Period, as customer demand for the brand’s dressy and occasion wear returned.

“The positive steps taken over the last 18 months with regards to restructuring our business, tight cost control and inventory management have all proved beneficial.

“Whilst there continues to be uncertainty in the short-term we remain confident in the strength of our brand and are highly confident that the clear demand for QUIZ’s trademark occasion-wear will support continued profitable growth.”