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Moss Bros stems pre-tax losses

Moss Bros reported a narrower pre-tax loss of £3.9m over the year to January 30, and said current trading was “strong”.

The menswear group recorded sales of £128.7m, a decline of 0.7% and a pre-tax loss of £3.9m against £5m the year before. EBITDA rose to £3.2m from £1.4m.

Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick said: “We made good progress on all of the operational priorities we set out at the beginning of the year and this has had a very positive impact on trading despite the difficult trading conditions last year. Current trading reflects strong like-for-like growth.”

Total like-for-like sales in the second half grew 1.6% after falling back 2.6% in the first half of the year leaving full year like-for-like sales down 0.4%.

The group said: “Open honest and collaborative communication with key credit insurers was maintained throughout the year and will continue to ensure minimal risk to the continuity of product supply”.

The company added: “The group has no debt, an over draft facility which is not utilised at the year end and tight working capital control.”

At the Moss Bros mainstream division, which includes the Moss chain, like-for-like sales rose 0.5%. The company attributed this to staff training and improved store customer experience.

Moss Bros has identified 40 potential locations for the chain across the UK and Southern Ireland.

At the fashion division like-for-like sales were down 0.9% as the demand for branded fashion was “subduded” in the first half.

Moss Bros has ended its Canali franchise agreement and will convert its existing Canali store on New Bond Street to Hugo Boss. The group operates 16 Hugo Boss stores in the UK.

At the Cecil Gee division a strategic review has lead to a “positive turnaround”, according to management.

Moss Bros Hire recorded a 2.9% decrease in like-for-like sales on the back of decreased demand for wedding suits and corporate events.

During the last 12 months group finance director Michael Hitchcock, trading director Ciaran McCloskey and chairman David Adamsresigned from the company.

Readers' comments (1)

  • The current Moss Bros management team seems to be doing a good job. Stemming the losses and dealing with things with a level head. This time last year, the business was all over the place with various backers and changing ownership. In the hands of Simon Berwin and Brian Brick the ship seems to have been steadied a bit. But it's tough out there in menswear. They need to make the shop experience more interesting and get rid of its reputation for being on sale and then things should improve.

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