Moss Bros makes good progress
Mens formalwear retailer Moss Bros has said its trading performance was in line with market expectations in the first 15 weeks of its financial year with total sales up 3.3% year-on-year.
In the 15 weeks to 14 May, like-for-like sales increased by 5% with retail like-for-likes up 5.1% and hire sales rising by 4.7%.
The company said like-for-like retail gross margins were very strong, up 430 basis points on the previous year, following the decision not to run a mid-season sale during the period. Like-for-like retail gross profit increased by 13.9% on last year in cash terms.
Online sales continued to rise, up 9.7% on last year, driven by the ongoing development of the company's retail and hire websites. Total e-commerce sales accounted for 10.7% of total sales compared with 10% for the same period last year.
A further three stores have been refitted and one new store opened so far this year, bringing the total number of stores trading in the new format to 85 out of a total portfolio of 124 stores. Moss Bros said the new format stores continue to trade ahead of non-refitted stores.
Brian Brick, Moss Bros chief executive, said: "We are pleased with our progress. Retail sales and margins have shown further improvement, boosted by the ongoing improvement in our customer offer and the improvement in our store and online environments.
“The strength of our core offer meant that we were able to trade through the period without running a mid-season sale, which significantly enhanced gross margins in the period. Hire sales continue to show improvement and e-commerce sales in the first 15 weeks of the year have also grown, reflecting our investment in systems and infrastructure.
“This has been another good period of progress for Moss Bros and we remain confident about our growth prospects."
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