- Footwear retailer Shoe Zone said it would not be in a position to start paying dividends until the 2025 financial year, while also warning of a full-year loss.

Pre-tax losses for the year through 5 October were expected in the range of £10.0 million to £12.0 million, with revenue seen slumping 24% to £122.6 million.

Shoe Zone said trading since reopening in June has been broadly 20% down year-on-year with digital trading broadly doubling.

'While the latter is encouraging, it has not filled the deficit from store sales,' the company said.

'Further recent government lockdown guidance has not helped the situation particularly with the disappointing announcements in Wales and the Republic of Ireland.'

'These lockdowns have added further uncertainty that had already been created by the new tier system in England, where our stores in tiers two and three have been greatly impacted.'

Shoe Zone said it closed out the financial year with net cash balance of £6.3 million, though it would pay no dividend as debt repayment was now being prioritised.

'In addition, while pension funding has been agreed with the pension trustees up until the next triennial valuation in March 2022, it is expected that additional funds will be needed for one of the legacy pension schemes,' it added.

'The board does not anticipate Shoe Zone will be in a position to restart a dividend policy until at least the 2024/25 financial year.'

The company ended the year with 460 stores, having opened 10 Big Box stores and closed 40 stores during the period.

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