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Moss Bros losses widen

Moss Bros saw pre-tax losses widen from £700,000 to £1.6 million for the six months ended July 26 but sales picked up in the second half.

Moss Bros said group like-for-like sales fell 2.6% for the six month period and total sales were down 2.9% to £61.1m. Gross margin rose 40 basis points and the business reduced terminal stock by 28%.

The core Moss chain recorded a like-for-like sales fall of 6.1%. Performance was dragged down by the discount outlet stores.

Like-for-like retail sales across Moss bros' fashion fascias, which includes its Hugo Boss franchise stores, rose 0.4%.

Hier sales were ahead 2.5% on a like for like basis.

Moss bros said trading had improved in the first eight weeks of the second half. Like-for-like sales are flat.

Moss bros chief executive Philip Mountford said: "The UK's number 1 branded suit specialist has the right brands and a strong management team to lead the business through what are challenging times. The board has been strenghtened and the company is in a good position to take full advantage of a shift in customers' desire towards higher priced contemporary and fashionable formalwear."

Mountford added: "Recent trading has shown the branded strength and customer appeal of the fascias we operate and for that we have no rason to alter the market's full year expectations."

For more on Moss Bros see next week's Drapers.

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