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Moss Bros see like-for-like sales rise 8.2%

Moss Bros, the menswear retailer, has said that total sales for the continuing business for the first 15 weeks have continued to perform well.


Moss Bros see like-for-like sales rise 8.2%

Although the business was facing tougher comparatives, total sales were 12.9% up on last year with like-for-like sales up 8.2% for the same period. Like-for-like gross profit strengthened during the period and was 9.8% ahead of last year.

The retailer said that the cost reduction programme, initiated in the second half of 2010/11, was delivering the planned savings. The disposal of the Hugo Boss franchise stores was completed on 1 April with Moss Bros receiving £5.1 million for the stock. The remaining £12.3 million will be received on the successful assignment of store leases to Hugo Boss Limited.

The first 'new format' Moss store was opened in Canary Wharf on 12 May, on time and within budget.

Moss Bros said it was able to manage its day to day capital requirements through a surplus cash balance and with the Hugo Boss proceeds expected to be received when planned, it had no need to renew its £5 million banking facility. This meant it was trading 'debt free'.

In spite of the strong performance the retailer said it remained cautious about the outlook for the year ahead but was confident of its medium term growth prospects.

Commenting on the outlook, CEO Brian Brick said:
"We are pleased with the sales momentum which has continued into this year and the control on margins, helped by the decision not to go on mid-season sale this year. There is no doubt that we are benefiting from strengthening our product offer."
He continued: "The selective refurbishment of our stores and a more simple business model will enable us to focus on the strengths of the core Moss brand. Although we remain cautious about the economic environment, we have a strong foundation from which to build and develop further our product offer, upgrade the standards of presentation of our stores and continue to improve our customers' experience.  We remain confident about our medium term growth prospects."


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