Moss Bros in pledge to see profit again...

MOSS Bros yesterday said it was on the road to a return to profit after reporting a 13.4 per cent rise in sales.

The lift, for the 20 weeks to 18 June, comes in the middle of the retailer’s turnaround plan under chief executive Brian Brick.

Under the revamp Moss has opened new bespoke stores and is concentrating on breathing new life into the Moss brand, including its traditional hire business.

The plan included selling of its Boss franchise business earlier this year.

Moss Bros said it “anticipates that the out turn for the full year will be ahead of current market forecasts”.

Gross margins have improved slightly but the rising cost of raw materials, especially cotton, is proving a challenge, the firm said.

Brick told City A.M.: “We are on our way to returning to profit although we aren’t saying when that will happen.

“We are concentrating on our core brand and pleased with the progress we are making.”

In 2009 Moss lost £5m and brokers are forecasting a £2m loss for the last year.

However, analysts say they are expecting the company to return to profit by 2013.

Altium Securities analyst John Cummins said: “Whilst the market backdrop will remain challenging for some time to come, we believe Moss Bros to be an interesting recovery play, which should benefit from both further self-help measures.”

Shares in Moss jumped 20 per cent after yesterday’s announcement.