Moss Bros posts strong growth in first half sales
Men¬ís formalwear retailer Moss Bros has reported a 4.6% increase in first half total revenue with like-for-like sales growing by 6.4%.
In the 26 weeks to 26 July revenues climbed to £55.8 million compared to £53.3 million in the same period last year. However, pre-tax profit dropped to £2 million from £2.2 million which the company attributed to a higher number of stores being closed for refit.
Moss Bros, whose retail business makes up 85% of sales with the remainder coming from its hire business, said like-for-like retail sales performed well in the period, increasing by 8.5%. Like-for-like hire sales fared less well, edging down 2.7%, although this was an improvement on the 3.8% decline seen in the first 16 weeks of the first half.
Online sales increased by 100% to account for 6.8% of total group revenue.
The company accelerated its store modernisation programme by completing nine stores in the first half compared to four in the same period last year. 49 stores now trade in the new format out of a total of 133.
Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick said: “These results reflect another period of progress for the company.
“We continue to invest in the future and make good progress in delivering our strategy. 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. E-commerce continues to grow strongly and our plans to develop a fully multi-channel customer experience are on track.
“The decline in hire moderated in the second quarter and we expect to see further improvement in the second half of the year as we move out of the wedding season into eveningwear. We continue to develop our hire proposition, both in terms of product offer and service.”
Moss Bros said trading in the seven weeks to 13 September had been “encouraging” with like-for-like sales rising by 6%.
Brick added: “The group's trading performance continues positively, in line with the board's expectations and the business is well placed to make further progress during the second half.”
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