Moss Bros reports rise in sales, confident over full year
(ShareCast News) - Menswear specialist Moss Bros reported a rise in sales for the first 15 weeks of the year as it expressed confidence it will meet its market expectations for the year.
Total sales were up 3.7% on last year, with like-for-like sales 2.3% higher. LFL retail sales, including e-commerce, were up 5.5% and the company said the new season's ranges were performing well.
E-commerce sales grew 14.7% on last year, with continuing growth in mobile traffic. Total e-commerce sales now comprise 11.6% of total sales for the 15 weeks to date, up from 10.7% last year.
However, LFL hire sales were down 14.2% on a 'cash taken' basis due to the reduced value of the deposit taken from customers when a hire order is first placed, and hire order numbers booked for collection in 2017 were lower than last year.
Moss Bros said a further three stores have been refitted and two new stores have opened so far this year, bringing the total number of stores trading in the new format to 101 out of a total portfolio of 129 stores. It added that the new format stores continue to trade ahead of non-refitted stores and are on track to achieve their anticipated payback targets.
Chief executive officer Brian Brick said: "We are pleased with our progress and Moss Bros continues to trade well and in line with the board's expectations, despite the continuing tough trading environment and a highly competitive marketplace which has seen significantly more markdown activity than the same period last year. Retail and e-commerce sales have shown further improvement against this backdrop.
"We continue to be acutely aware of the economic headwinds which we will face for the remainder of the financial year, as input cost increases come into effect. We are also mindful that zero real wage growth will impact on consumer confidence. We will remain agile in our response to these market conditions."
At 0955 BST, the shares were down 2.7% to 110.24p.