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Pedestrians pass a DavidsTea shop in Toronto on July 8, 2020.Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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.

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.

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