Moss Bros has warned that its full-year profit is likely to fall short of market expectations following disappointing footfall during December.
Total sales for the 23 weeks to 6 January up 1.1% on 2016. However, like-for-like sales dipped by 0.1%.
The menswear retailer said there had been “volatility” during the period: like-for-like store sales were up 1.2% year on year between August and November, but down 8% from the beginning of December to now.
Moss Bros said it “continued to make progress, growing retail sales against a very challenging consumer backdrop”.
However, as a result of “lower footfall than anticipated during December, particularly in stores”, it expects to report a full-year profit before tax performance within a range of £6.5m to £6.8m, which is slightly below current market expectations.
Ecommerce sales were up 12.3% on last year, and now comprise 13% of group revenue.
Hire sales, which accounted for 10% of group revenue during the period, were down 3.6% on a like-for-like basis. However, this was an improvement on the first-half performance, which was down 8.4% year on year.
Overall, gross margins for the 23 weeks fell by 3% on last year.
Five new Moss Bros stores opened during the year, four closed and three were relocated. The retailer now has 128 stores in total.