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Moss Bros posts £5m loss

Moss Bros swung to a pre-tax loss of £5 million from a £200,000 profit for the 53 weeks ended January 31 and said like-for-like sales had slumped by 9.4% in the six weeks since the year end.

Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick said that in volume terms suit sales were up 20% on a like-for-like basis since the year end as shoppers smartened up. Moss Bros also said the 9.4% fall in like-for-like retail sales had been distorted because of the snow in February and that, excluding the bad weather weeks, like-for-like’s were behind by 5.7%.

“The business has quality brands at competitive prices and the customer resorts to businesses they can trust in the face of the worst recession in living memory. The balance sheet remains robust, with ongoing bank facilities in place and we have a strong management team to lead the business through and out the other side of this recession.”

Brian Brick, chief executive, Moss Bros

Over the 53 week period like-for-like sales were behind 3.2% within that, the Moss chain saw like-for-like sales fall 4.3% and Cecil Gee saw like-for-like sales fall 6.4%. Moss Bros Hire recorded a like-for-like sales increase of 0.8% while Hugo Boss saw a like-for-like increase of 0.4% and Canali 6.4%.

Moss Bros said that despite the trading loss before tax, it was in a better position than many retailers because it had no debt, an ongoing overdraft facility and tight working capital control.

Moss Bros’ cash balance on January 31 was £8.1m versus £15.5m the previous year.

Brick said: “The business has quality brands at competitive prices and the customer resorts to businesses they can trust in the face of the worst recession in living memory. The balance sheet remains robust, with ongoing bank facilities in place and we have a strong management team to lead the business through and out the other side of this recession.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • The fact that the Moss Bros stores resemble jumble sales has to be a factor in the declining sales. No man wants to have to rumage through tatty looking boxes for a bargain, Moss Bros customers are not 15 year old Primark girls! The stores need to be overhauled and become appealing destinations. The majority of us men don't shop we buy, we want to go into a store and see what we need straight away, presented in an aspirational fashion. Moss Bros need to overhaul their offer, they are stuck in a rut, they need to re-evaluate their own brands and also get rid of the bought in brands that are not pulling their weight anymore. Moss Bros would be a sad loss to the high street, hopefully they will get it right soon and we won't need to see that day.

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