Jewellery group Michael Hill has suffered an 11.9 per cent dive in third quarter revenue across its global network after it closed shopfronts due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The group of Friday said its 300-odd stores across Australia, Canada and New Zealand recorded $105.06 million in revenue for the quarter – down from $119.3 million a year ago – after they were all closed in March amid low trade and to protect staff and customers.
Same store sales revenue fell 11.2 per cent to $102.2 million.
The company’s Canadian business suffered the greatest percentage decline – a 21.1 per cent same store sales drop to $CAD20.6 million ($A23.07m).
Australian same-store revenue fell 10.4 per cent to $56.8 million.
Michael Hill said it had enjoyed total same store sales growth of 3.1 per cent for the first nine weeks of the quarter, compared to the same time last year.
The business has since closed its physical stores, stood down more than 1,000 store staff, and is asking landlords for rent relief as coronavirus ravages the retail landscape.
Year-to-date same store sales is still 1.5 per cent higher at $418.8 million.
Management said it hoped online sales, which were up 49.1 per cent for the quarter, can offset some of the virus impact.
It’s also trialling digital catalogues and direct sales.
However, it cannot deliver orders to New Zealand until government restrictions are eased.
The company also said it will postpone repaying former employees in Australia who were underpaid to help the business through the crisis.
Michael Hill will pay interest on these amounts owing.
The business last year said it owed between $10 million and $25 million to current and former staff in Australia based on the retail industry award wage.
Michael Hill claims most of its affected current employees have been paid their amounts.
Other measures being taken to manage finances include postponing the interim dividend by six months, a 50 per cent cut to board member fees and executive bonuses scrapped.
Shares in the company were worth 36 cents before trade on Friday and have nearly halved in value in 2020 so far against a 19 per cent downturn for the ASX/200.