Moss Bros narrows loss

Suit retailer Moss Bros has posted a second full-year loss but reduced it to £2.7m from £3.9m in 2009 as sales rose almost ten per cent in 2010.

The suit sale and hire specialist saw underlying group revenues rise six per cent in the year, to £136.4m while like for like sales rose 9.1 per cent.

Performance in suit hire was particularly strong, with revenues up 10.9 per cent, as people opted not to buy expensive suits.

But the pre-tax loss widened to £7.5m as a £4.8m exceptional charge was added to the bill and was higher than 2009’s pre-tax loss of £6.6m.

The loss follows a turnaround under new chief executive Brian Brick to boost turnover, which includes the sale of its 15 Hugo Boss stores this month to free up more investment in boosting sales.

Moss Bros is selling the stores for £16.5m.

Altium Securities analysts said the result was slightly ahead of expectations and its year-end cash position of £6.9m was £2.1m better than expected.