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Moss Bros sales grow as margins dip

Moss Bros Group has reported 5.7% growth in like for like sales in the first half of the year, and is “well place” for progress over the rest of 2012.

Over the 26 weeks to July 28, continuing operations in the menswear business made a pre-tax profit of £2.2m, showing no movement from the same period in 2011. Moss Bros said this was largely as a result of weddings being deferred because of this year’s sporting events, and is expecting there to have been a “neutral” impact from the Olympics by the end of the full year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation or amortisation (EBITDA) rose slightly from £4.2m last year to £4.3m.

Gross margins fell 2.2 percentage points to 60.4% as Moss Bros absorbed the rise in raw material cost prices.

“These input cost increases have now stabilised and with the benefit of the introduction of direct sourcing, gross margins for the second half are on an improving trend against the prior year,” the statement said.

Chief executive Brian Brick said: ““These results reflect another period of progress for the company. The group has traded well across both hire and retail in the first six months of the year.

“We continue to make good progress on our strategic priorities. The modernisation of the store portfolio continues and our plans for e-commerce are on track.”

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