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Moss Bros warns on profit

Moss Bros said like-for-like sales fell 1.5% for the 18 weeks to date after footfall dipped and sales slowed in the last seven weeks.

Total sales over the 18 week period were down 3.7% as a result of planned store closures in the second half of last year. However like-for-like retail sales for the 44 weeks to December 1 are up 1.1%, following a good second and third quarter.

The menswear group said that the key Christmas trading period would have a major bearing on the final outcome for the year and that given performance over the last seven weeks it was unlikely full year profits would meet market expectations.

As a result of slower sales Moss Bros said that stock levels had been tightly controlled to ensure that terminal stock is minimised at the end of the season.

Chief executive Philip Mountford said: “Our sales performance in the last two months reflects the tough trading conditions in our markets. However, we enter this key period with well-developed retail plans, a good product range, better store environments and tight stocks. Using our strong positive cash position we are confident that continued investment in our stores and our offer will underpin future growth.”

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