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Moss Bros warns on profit after footfall decline

Moss Bros has warned on profit after it experienced lower than expected footfall during December.

FASHION

Moss Bros warns on profit after footfall decline

In a trading statement, the company said it now expects to report a full year pre-tax profit within a range of £6.5 million to £6.8 million, which is below city analysts’ expectations.

Total sales for the 23 weeks to 6 January were 1.1% ahead of last year while total retail sales, including ecommerce, were up 1.6%. Like-for-like total sales were 0.1% lower year-on-year while like-for-like retail sales, including ecommerce, were up 0.4% in the period.

Hire sales, which accounted for 10% of group revenue in the period, were 3.6% down on a like-for-like basis.

Moss Bros said it had seen some volatility towards the end of the period, with like-for-like store sales from August to November performing markedly better with a 1.2% uplift compared to an 8% fall since the beginning of December.

Brian Brick, Moss Bros chief executive, said: “We faced a very tough December trading environment, which led to a significant reduction in store footfall and a hardening of the corresponding competitive environment in which we operate.

“This, coupled with strong cost headwinds and a desire to protect margins, led to a disappointing year end short fall to sales and subsequently to our anticipated profits for the full year. This is all the more frustrating given that we have continued to make progress with LFL retail and online sales and with our hire proposition.”

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