Moss Bros sees sales buck high street gloom

MENSWEAR brand Moss Bros has posted a double-digit rise in sales in defiance of tough trading conditions on the high street.

The suits specialist said like-for-like sales for the first 19 weeks of the second half were 10.5 per cent up on the previous year, despite tougher market conditions.

Gross profits were 7.9 per cent ahead of last year, despite inflation in raw material costs earlier this year.

“We enter this important trading period in good shape but ever mindful of the fragile nature of consumer confidence”, said Brian Brick, chief executive.

The group had earlier in the year sold eight of its nine Cecil Gee stores to sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion and disposed of 15 Hugo Boss franchised stores in order to focus on strengthening its core Moss brand.

It also opened its first refurbished store in Canary Wharf earlier this year, followed by two further openings at Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield and Bluewater in Kent.

The retailer operates through the Moss fascia as well as hire formal wear under the Moss Bros Hire brand.

Shares closed up 0.77 per cent at 32.75p yesterday.