DavidsTea first-quarter loss soars to $45.8 million as sales weaken

MONTREAL — DavidsTea Inc. says its net loss soared in its fiscal first quarter, a day after the insolvent beverage company announced it will shrink its retail network to 18 stores in Canada.

The Montreal-based company says it lost $45.8 million or $1.76 per share for the three months ended May 2, compared with a net loss of $3.3 million or 13 cents per share a year earlier.

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The weak results came as all its 200-plus stores in Canada and the United States were closed for about half the quarter because of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Adjusted losses surged 75 per cent to $5.8 million or 22 cents per share, from $3.3 million or 13 cents per share in the first quarter of 2019.

Revenues were $32.2 million, down 27 per cent from $44.3 million in the prior year.

E-commerce and wholesale sales increased 120.7 per cent or by $9.3 million to $17 million in the quarter. Online sales represented 52.9 per cent of total sales, up from 17.5 per cent in the prior year quarter.

"Our first-quarter results reflect the closure of all our stores for about half of the quarter and the exceptional performance of our e-commerce and wholesale channels as our customers shifted their buying habits," stated founder, chairman and interim CEO Herschel Segal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 31, 2020.

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