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Moss Bros reports full-year profit

Menswear retailer Moss Bros has returned to profitability earlier than expected as it continues to turn its business around.

CITY & CORPORATE

Moss Bros reports full-year profit

Group like-for-like sales for the year to 28 January rose 12.5% with like-for-like retail sales and like-for-like hire sales up 13.1% and 10.1% respectively.

Profit before taxation and discontinued operations was £0.9 million against an £8.9 million loss after exceptional items in the prior year.

The group also reported continuing operations EBITDA of £5.8 million compared with £0.6 million loss in the previous year.  This was driven by improved sales and reduced costs.

The company said it had a strong cash balance of £23.3 million, up from £6.9 million in the prior year, which included proceeds from the successful disposal of 15 Hugo Boss franchised stores and eight Cecil Gee stores.

Moss Bros opened 10 new Moss stores and one new outlet store in the period. These included 4 pilot store layouts in Canary Wharf, Bluewater, Liffey Valley and Meadowhall. It also developing its e-commerce strategy and is planning to launch 'Click & Collect' and 'Click and Return' services in-store in the second half of 2012/13.

Commenting on the results and outlook, Brian Brick, chief executive officer, said: "In spite of tough trading conditions, we continue to make great progress in turning the business around.

"We have continued with our work on the new store fits, to improve the customer perception of the brand and to improve financial returns. During 2012/13 we will continue to carry out test refits on selected stores, to assess the impact on sales.

"We are also progressing our plans for an integrated e-commerce offering and exploring ways of leveraging our customer data, whilst at the same time applying careful management of our costs, to ensure we have resilience if there is another downturn in consumer spending."

Chairman Debbie Hewitt said: "Our continued progress is reflected in the pleasing start to this financial year and whilst economic conditions in the UK are expected to remain challenging, we are well placed to continue the turnaround of the business by leveraging the potential of the Moss brand and our clear position as 'the No.1 Branded Suit Specialist'."

Founded in 1851, Moss Bros operates 135 stores across the UK.

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