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Moss Bros quashes credit insurance rumours

Moss Bros has strongly refuted claims that it is having issues with its credit insurance, pointing out that it has £18m of cash on its balance sheet.

Sources had told Drapers that one credit insurance provider – understood to be Euler Hermes – was due to reduce some of its cover on the menswear retailer from 9 October.

But a Moss Bros spokesman said on Wednesday that the claims were “inaccurate and unfounded”.

He added: “Moss Bros does not have any issues at all with any of its credit insurers.

”Moss Bros has substantial cash resources with £18m on the balance sheet and has spoken with Euler Hermes today. Euler Hermes has also denied the rumour.”

Euler Hermes had previously declined to comment when contacted by Drapers. 

Moss Bros’s revenues grew 1.4% to £65.4m in the first half of 2019, buoyed by increased store sales – up 0.6% year on year – and online growth of 20%.

However, its losses before tax grew to £2.7m in the 26 weeks to 27 July, up from a loss of £1.7m in the first half of 2018. Moss Bros said the new IFRS 16 property reporting standards meant profits took a £1.1m hit.

CEO Brian Brick told Drapers: “We trade with certain suppliers all of whom are very happy to trade with us and trust us. We have enough credit insurance out there and have a very strong balance sheet. Do we lose sleep over it? No. We are in control of our destiny.”

He added that despite a difficult tailoring market, Moss Bros had an opportunity to grow its more casual offering: “The challenge that the tailoring business is facing is that there are less people wearing suits for business. We’ve got a good opportunity because we’re not just purely in that work market.”

He continued: “The market is quite unsettling but we’re very pleased that we’re back in like-for-like growth on the high street.

”We finished the first half of the year with £18m of cash on the balance sheet and no debt, and we are investing in the business and implementing our strategy.”

*This is a correction to an article that is set to appear in print on 27 September. We apologise for any confusion.

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