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Moss Bros celebrates rise in profits after stellar wedding season

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Moss Bros’ pre-tax profits grew 44% in the 26 weeks to 1st August and like-for-like sales rose by 9.7% on last year, following demand for wedding attire. 

The suit specialist suffered from the economic downturn in recent years, but is benefitting from strong trading in its hire division, in which sales increased by 9.8% 

"The broadening of our hire product range, through the introduction of two ranges of lounge suits and improvements in customer service delivery, contributed to renewed growth in hire and a successful 2015 wedding season, with Royal Ascot and eveningwear continuing to show growth," said Chief Exec Brian Brick. 

The upmarket menswear retailer modernised 11 of its stores during the period, bringing the number of new or refitted outlets to 74 in the company’s 125 store estate. 

Online sales were up by 59% compared to the same period last year; an encouraging figure in an industry where more and more customers shop online. 

“E-commerce has grown strongly in the period and this trend is expected to continue,” said Brick.  

“The implementation of a more coordinated and targeted promotional programme, in conjunction with improved clearance of residual stocks through our e-commerce ‘Outlet’ channel, has enabled us to improve our achieved gross margin.” 

The company has also announced the departure of Finance Director Robin Piggot, who recently revealed his intention to retire at the company’s 20th May 2016 AGM. 

“The Board would like to express its sincere thanks to Robin for his invaluable contribution to the group over the past six years, during which time he has played a pivotal role in the successful turnaround and subsequent progress of the business, commented Chairman Debbie Hewitt. 

The group will be taking tentative steps into the Middle Eastern market with two pilot franchise stores, the first of which will open later this year. 

“We are at the very early stages of testing our retail proposition in international markets and will do so rigorously to ensure we understand the resonance of our brand and proposition,” added Brick. 

Published on Tuesday 29 September by Philip Gallagher

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