Interactive Investor

Shoe Zone’s Boot is better fit than Foot

9th March 2021 12:16

Richard Hunter from interactive investor

After Shoe Zone's finance chief left in a hurry last month, the troubled footwear chain has found the perfect replacement.

Terry Boot replacing Peter Foot as finance chief at Shoe Zone (LSE:SHOE) is a path many would fear to tread.

Not previously known as a trainer, he will nonetheless need to bring his financial expertise to bear. With the company struggling amid the challenges of the pandemic, his view on the way forward will need to be in step with the stated goals of returning the company to profit by next year. 

If Boot manages to do so, along with eliminating debt by 2025, he will no doubt be the life and sole of the party as Shoe Zone is able to stand on its own two feet again.

Foot did a runner just two weeks before publication of annual results on Monday 8 March. 

And the numbers were terrible after the pandemic shut down high streets for a large chunk of the year. Sales fell 24.3% in the 52 weeks ended 3 October 2020 and the company lost £14.6 million. There’s no dividend this time either.

"All of our stores are closed, and we remain unable to forecast accurately due to current uncertainties,” said Shoe Zone, although its shops in England will be open again from 12 April. 

At least its digital platforms are continuing to perform well. Online sales rose 82% last year and profit was £4.6 million.

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