Moss Bros moves into the black

City A.M. Reporter
Moss Bros swung to a first-half adjusted pre-tax profit, helped by cost cuts and strong sales across both its hire and retail markets and said it expected outturn for the full year to be ahead of its prior view.

The menswear retailer said trading in the eight weeks ended 24 September has been impacted by rising raw material prices, which may diminish its cost savings.

Fears of a further downturn in consumer spending plagued the company, which plans to continue with its cost saving programme.

A survey earlier this month indicated UK consumer confidence slipped to a four-month low in August, auguring ill for consumption and suggesting that domestic demand will remain a drag on the fragile economy.

The company, which retails menswear through the Moss fascia and hire formal wear under the Moss Bros Hire brand, had earlier in the year sold right of its nine Cecil Gee stores to sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion (JD.L), and disposed 15 Hugo Boss franchised stores.

The company reported January 30-July 30 pre-tax profit from continuing operations of £2.2m, compared with a pretax loss of £2.8m a year ago.

Like-for-like sales were up 15.4 per cent.