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Moss Bros raises profit guidance

Men’s formalwear retailer Moss Bros is raising its full year profit guidance following a bumper Christmas trading period.

Improved sales performance over the festive season, tight cost control and “rigorous” stock clearance at the company will see profit expectations for the financial year exceeding market expectations. Stock levels at the year end are expected to be in line with management estimates.

Like-for-like sales at the group soared 12.9% for the five weeks to January 11, while year-on-year sales were up 7.3% from July 28 to January 11.

Gross profit for the 24 week period was 5.6% ahead of 2012.

As a result of the healthy balance sheet, the group will increase its planned dividend to reduce its net cash position from the expected £28m to £15m.

In its full year results for the year to January 25, the board will recommend a final dividend of 4.7 pence per share, being a total dividend of 5 pence per share for the year. This compares with 0.9 pence per share for the year ended 26 January 2013.

Brian Brick, chief executive at Moss Bros, said he was “encouraged” by the results.

“An ongoing focus on cash management has allowed us to announce an accelerated and progressive dividend policy. We remain conscious of the competitive trading environment but continue to implement our strategic plan to grow the business.”

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