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Off to the laces: Terry Boot replaces Peter Foot as Shoe Zone finance boss

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<p>New numbers chief ‘brings considerable experience’</p> (PA)

New numbers chief ‘brings considerable experience’

(PA)

Terry Boot has stepped into the role of Shoe Zone’s finance boss following the departure of his predecessor, Peter Foot.

Mr Boot brings “considerable experience” to the post, after four years with The Company of Master Jewellers, and jobs at Brantano and Jones Bootmaker, the firm said.

Mr Foot unexpectedly walked away from Shoe Zone in February after only seven months.

It has been a tough year for Shoe Zone because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer said it was unlikely to pay shareholders a dividend until 2025 after registering a loss.

Shoe Zone axed 40 shops in 2020 amid Covid-19 turmoil.

Anthony Smith, its chief executive, said: "We are delighted that Terry has agreed to join Shoe Zone and are confident that his considerable experience will strengthen the board.

"We do not expect profits will return to pre Covid-19 levels for the foreseeable future.

"Lockdown in November and January to mid-April so far in this financial year makes a return to profit extremely unlikely until the financial period ending on 2 October 2022 at the earliest.

"I would like to thank all those who gave us assistance in 2020 and have continued to help us in 2021.

"We are working very well as a management team in finding innovative ways to secure a future for our extremely dedicated Shoe Zoners."

Shares in the business dropped on Monday morning after it fell to a £14.6m pre-tax loss from a £6.7m profit in the previous year.

All of the company's 430 high street and retail park shop are shut because of coronavirus restrictions and will reopen from April 12 at the earliest.

The group revealed that revenues slumped by 24.3 per cent to £122.3m for the year.

However, the company saw strong growth in digital sales, which rose by 82 per cent to £19.3m for the year.

The group did not hand shareholders an annual dividend and said it would suspend payouts until it is able to pay off its £12m debt, which is not expected to be until 2025 at the earliest.

Shares in the company were 6.7 per cent lower at 69.7p in early trading.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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