Friday 11 January 2019 9:39 am

Suits you: Moss Bros shares rise after better-than-expected Christmas trading update

Shares in Moss Bros rose this morning after the suit retailer announced a better-than-expected set of results for the Christmas period.

Shares were up 2.6 per cent at 26.9p after the retailer said sales for the 23 week period from 29 July to 5 January were 0.6 per cent ahead of last year and one per cent down on a like-for-like basis.

Moss Bros said it anticipates delivering performance in line with current revised market consensus of an adjusted loss of £0.6m.

Further reading: Retail’s Super Thursday: The good, the bad and the ugly

The retailer said post-Black Friday it engaged in deeper discounting than planned to remain competitive which it said would hit its gross margin rates.

It said physical stores underperformed as a result of reduced customer footfall but said sales in its e-commerce channel were up 27.8 per cent on the previous year, accounting for 16.2 per cent of revenue.

Chief executive Brian Brick said: “Despite the improving trend in performance, we anticipate the period ahead will continue to be extremely challenging, as a result of the uncertain consumer environment, wider political backdrop and the significant cost headwinds that we continue to face from a weaker pound and further increases in business rates and employee related costs.”

Sofie Willmott, senior retail analyst at GlobalData, said: "Although Moss Bros will continue to be faced with a challenging retail environment in 2019, the requirement for many people to wear a suit to work daily, the retailer’s reputation as a specialist and its accessible price points should mean it is safeguarded to some extent."

Further reading: Retail sector suffers worst Christmas in a decade as sales stagnate