Menswear group Moss Bros has returned to profit earlier than expected after like-for-like sales rose and the company reduced its costs.
For the year to January 28 the company made a pre-tax profit of £900,000, compared with a loss of £8.9m in the year before. Due to Moss Bros improving sales and reducing costs during the year EBITDA rose to £5.8m compared with a loss of £600,000.
Group like-for-like sales including VAT were up 12.5% with like-for-like retail sales up 13.1% and like-for-like hire sales up 10.1%. Total revenues for the period were £101.2m.
During the year Moss Bros posted record sales for its hire business, which benefitted from the new hire distribution system that was fully implemented last year.
Ecommerce sales also improved in 2011, with sales “sharply” up on the year before. During the second half of this year Moss Bros will implement a click and collect and click and return service.
Moss Bros said trading in the eight weeks to March 25 trading has “continued to be encouraging”. Like-for-like sales have continued to improve, although gross margins have been affected by the increasing cost of raw material.
Chief executive officer Brian Brick said: “In spite of tough trading conditions, we continue to make great progress in turning the business around. We have continued with our work on the new store fits, to improve the customer perception of the brand and to improve financial returns. During 2012/13 we will continue to carry out test refits on selected stores, to assess the impact on sales.
“We are also progressing our plans for an integrated ecommerce offering and exploring ways of leveraging our customer data, whilst at the same time applying careful management of our costs, to ensure we have resilience if there is another downturn in consumer spending.”