Fashion retailer Moss Bros saw like-for-like (LFL) sales rise 5.7 per cent in its first half as pre-tax profit remained at £2.2 million, “reflecting another period of progress for the Company,” according to CEO Brian Brick.
EBITDA increased from last year’s £4.2 million figure to £4.3 million while LFL retail sales rose 6.5 per cent in the six months to July 28th 2012.
However, LFL’s have been impacted by the Olympics as trading patterns were affected in the seven weeks to September 15th 2012, with LFL’s growing at a slower rate than the first half as a result.
Retail sales jumped 5.5 per cent over the period to £43.1 million while retail gross profit grew 1.3 per cent to £23.2 million.
Moss Bros Hire business saw a deferral of wedding bookings from the first half into the second half, noting that these will be worth about £1.9 million in sales revenue compared with the same period last year.
As such, the shortfall in profit for this arm of the retailer, amounting to £1.4 million, will be recouped in the second half, somewhat easing pressure on the operation.
A Hire website is planned to go live in the first quarter of next year while a new Retail site is to be launch in time for Christmas 2012 as the company seeks to strengthen its multichannel presence.
Online sales over the half have grown by 42 per cent and the formalwear specialists said that its online capabilities continue to develop.
As for the retailer’s store portfolio, a refit programme is underway with four stores refitted in the half. A further 12 refurbishments are set to be completed in the second half with a total of 90 units set to be refit over the next five years.
“These results reflect another period of progress for the Company,” Brick commented.
“The Group has traded well across both hire and retail in the first six months of the year.We continue to make good progress on our strategic priorities.
“The modernisation of the store portfolio continues and our plans for e-commerce are on track.
The early response to the Autumn/Winter range is positive, with like-for-like sales continuing to improve year-on-year and gross margins are showing an improving trend against the prior year, hence our confidence following the reintroduction of the final dividend earlier in the year, to reintroduce an interim dividend in November.
“Despite challenging economic conditions, the Group’s trading performance continues positively, in line with the Board’s expectations and the business is well placed to make further progress during the second half.”