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Moss Bros swings to full year loss

Men’s formalwear retailer Moss Bros has reported a full year adjusted loss before tax of £0.4 million compared to a profit of £6.7 million in the previous year.

FASHION

Moss Bros swings to full year loss

Men’s formalwear retailer Moss Bros has reported a full year adjusted loss before tax of £0.4 million compared to a profit of £6.7 million in the previous year.

In the year to 26 January, total revenue was down 2.1% year-on-year to £129 million. In addition, group like-for-like sales dropped by 4.3% as retail like-for-likes fell by 3.6% and hire like-for-likes declined by 9.3%.

The retailer said it had been a challenging year with the first half affected by early season stock shortages. In addition, footfall was down due to a combination of abnormally cold and then hot weather in the period, and sporting events such as the World Cup.

Moss fared better in the second half as customers responded well to deeper discounting, although this impacted gross profit.

Brian Brick, Moss chief executive, said: "It has been an extremely challenging year for the business on many fronts, but I am confident that we have made significant progress in a number of areas of the business. However, it is disappointing to be reporting an adjusted loss before tax for the group for the first time since 2010/11.

“Whilst we were able to improve our performance in the second half of the year, this was in part as a result of adopting a more aggressive trading stance in reaction to competitor activity. We saw positive sales momentum during the fourth quarter, but as a consequence of deeper discounting, the gross margin rates which we achieved were lower than planned.”

Looking ahead, Moss said it continues to expect the retail landscape to be challenging, particularly in its physical stores, as an uncertain consumer environment and significant cost headwinds continue.

Brick added: “In spite of the challenging backdrop, we have overall, made a good start to the new financial year. The early response to the 2019 Spring/Summer retail range has been positive and the continued progress of our ecommerce channel provides us with the confidence to increase investment in this area.” 

Earlier this month, Moss announced that Joules chief executive Colin Porter was to become its new chairman.

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