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Moss Bros delivers like-for-like sales rise

Menswear business Moss Bros delivered a like-for-like sales rise of 3.7% as hire sales performed “particularly well”.

Moss Bros said as planned the income deferred in the first half due to sporting events held over the summer had been fully recovered in the period from July 29 to December 8. 

Total sales in the 45 weeks to December 8 were 4.6% ahead of last year with like-for-like sales up 4.9%.

During the 19 week period gross margins saw some recovery due to less cost pressures on raw materials and more direct sourcing, however the company said the margin performance would depend on the level of discounting in the critical Sale period.

Moss Bros is set to launch a new website for its retail arm in January, which will provide click and collect services across all UK stores. A new website for the hire arm of the business is on track to launch during the first half of next year.

During the financial year 14 stores have been refitted as part of the group’s five year plan to refit 90 stores. Post refit, trading performance for these stores has improved as expected and plans are in place to refit a further 25 stores in 2013/14.

Chief executive Brian Brick said: “We are encouraged by the trading momentum throughout the business which has continued into this year. We are particularly pleased with the progress and resilience of our Hire business, which has successfully overcome the challenges posed by the summer’s sporting activities. 

He added: “We enter the important Christmas trading period in good shape. We continue to develop the business by leveraging the strength of our brands and our operational capabilities, whilst managing it to reflect the difficult trading environment. The Board remains confident in the outlook for the full year.”

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