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Sales up 4.6% at Moss Bros as profits slip

Moss Bros has reported a 4.6% increase in total sales to £55.8m for the 26 weeks to July 26 as operating profit slips by £300,000 to £1.9m year on year due to store refit costs.

Like for like retail sales were up 8.5%, while like for like hire sales dropped by 2.7% year on year. However, this is an improvement on the 3.8% drop in hire sales in the first 16 weeks of 2014.

In the first half of the year Moss Bros refitted nine stores, compared to four stores in the first half of 2013, taking the number of stores in the new format to 49 out of a total of 133.

Online sales soared by 100% during the period and now account for 6.8% of group revenue, while mobile sales accounted for 9.1% of online sales.

Moss Bros also launched its Australian website in the first half to add to its sites in Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. International sales now make up 5.9% of online retail sales.

In autumn 2014 the business launched a new range of sub brands including Moss London, Moss 1851 and Moss Esquire.

Trading in the seven weeks to September 13 has been “encouraging” with like for like sales up 6%. The company also noted the hire arm of the business was “well prepared for the peak eveningwear season.”

Brian Brick, chief executive officer said the results reflected “another period of progress” for the company.

“The successful launch of our new sub brand line up at the start of the Autumn 2014 season, in conjunction with our ongoing store refit programme, means our customer offer is now more closely defined and aligned with our target customer groups. The Group’s financial performance continues positively and in line with the Board’s expectations for the outturn for the year.”

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