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Moss Bros annual profits climb 42%

Moss Bros posted a 42% rise in pre-tax profits for the previous year, as sales for this year continue to climb.

The menswear retailer made a pre-tax profit of £4.4m in the year to January 25, 2014, up from £3.1m the year before. Group like-for-like sales increased 4.2% to £122.2m, with like-for-like retail sales rising 6.4%. However, like-for-like sales in its hire business dropped 6.4%. EBITDA increased 16.5% to £9.2m driven by improved sales and tight cost control.

Online sales soared 209% during the year and now make up 5.1% of total sales.

During the year 13 stores were revamped as part of an ongoing refit plan and the business also adopted Moss Bros as its “master brand” with plans to realign its sub-brands for autumn 14.

Sales in the first eight weeks of the new financial year to March 22 are up 7.3% and like-for-like gross profit is up 6.4%.

Moss Bros said retail sales continue to show good growth this year and, after a difficult 2013 for the wedding hire industry, early season bookings for 2014 have stabilised and the month of March has seen an upturn in bookings compared with last year. Its new transactional hire website, which was launched in November, is also recording traffic levels above expectations.

Chief executive Brian Brick said Moss Bros has entered the new financial year with a strong balance sheet. “The ongoing cash generation of the business will support the continued investment in store refits and develop our multichannel capability,” he said. “2014 will see an increase in marketing to support the opportunities identified in the findings of the customer insight project, conducted in 2013. We will adopt “Moss Bros” as the master brand and will launch Moss-branded sub-brands in autumn 2014.”

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