Wednesday 15 May 2019 2:28 pm

Moss Bros gears up for crucial summer season after sales bump

Moss Bros started 2019 with a bump in sales, the men’s tailoring giant revealed today, as it looks to recover from a spate of profit warnings in the upcoming summer selling season.

The menswear firm, which was founded in 1851, reported a 1.5 per cent rise in total sales for the business from the end of January to early May.

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Ahead of the firm’s annual general meeting (AGM) today, the firm said that like-for-like retail sales were up 2.2 per cent, pushing up shares five per cent in trading.

Boss Brian Brick said today that the group has now turned its sight to the peak trading season of weddings, proms and Ascot.

Brick added: "We are making progress on last year, having recovered from the stock issues and improved our supply chain. Retail and e-commerce sales have shown further improvement against this backdrop. Although Hire continues to disappoint, it is clear this is reflecting a switch from Hire to retail with the new Tailor Me range."

Peter Smedley, research director at finnCap, said: “Today’s Moss Bros AGM trading statement is the first staging post of many in addressing the key challenge of how to make their retail proposition relevant in a constantly changing consumer environment. This comes off the back of a torrid FY19 year, partly due to the tough trading backdrop.”

In March the group posted its first annual losses in almost a decade, blaming a turbulent trading environment.

The group also revealed that it would not make its final dividend payment, cutting its total dividend from 4p last year to 1.5p.

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The formal menswear specialist, which has over 120 shops in the UK, recently announced the appointment of Joules chief executive Joules Colin Porter as its new chairman, ollowing the expected retirement of Debbie Hewitt later this year.

Porter, a retail veteran who oversaw the floatation of British lifestyle brand Joules in 2016, has been officially appointed as a Moss Bros non-executive director and is set to to take the reigns as chairman at today’s annual general meeting (AGM).