Moss Bros moves back into the black

MOSS Bros has returned to profit after a surge in sales of wedding attire.

The retailer said yesterday it had benefited from the “Kate and William effect” as couples followed the royal pair in tying the knot.

The group posted a better-than-expected pre-tax profit of £2.2m in its half yearly report following a £2.8m loss for the same period last year.

Like-for-like sales were up by 15.4 per cent, with revenue at £40m.

The company said Royal Ascot had also sparked more sales, while its hire business was making progress.

The figures were boosted by the £19.8m sale of 15 of its Hugo Boss franchised stores and eight Cecil Gee stores. The final payment of £4.3m is due to come through in October.

Moss also opened a pilot branch in Canary Wharf that presented its hire, retail and bespoke businesses in one store. The group plans to develop its website over the next 18 months to generate more online business ,as web sales currently represent just one per cent of revenue.

Chief executive Brian Brick said: “The royal wedding helped us and our hire business is doing very well.

“There have been rises in costs of materials but we have managed to avoid raising prices on many lines.”