Moss Bros swings to £4.2m loss

Moss Bros loss
// Moss Bros has recorded a loss of £4.2m in its full-year report
// Compares to profit of £6.7m million the year before
// Full-year revenues also down 2.1% while like-for-likes dropped 4.3%

Moss Bros has swung to a full year loss after being hit by mounting woes from stock shortages, extreme weather and heavy discounting.

The menswear retailer recorded a £4.2 million loss for the 52-week period ending January 26, compared to a profit of £6.7 million the year prior.

Meanwhile, revenues were down 2.1 per cent to £129 million and like-for-like sales dropped 4.3 per cent.

The full-year figures also show that like-for-like hire sales plummeted by 9.3 per cent, although online sales surged 19.6 per cent.

Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick said it was an “extremely challenging” year.

“We suffered from a combination of a significant stock shortage and extremes of weather, alongside sporting distraction in the first half, which impacted footfall into our stores,” he said.

“Whilst we were able to improve our performance in the second half of the year, this was in part as a result of adopting a more aggressive trading stance in reaction to competitor activity.

“We saw positive sales momentum during the fourth quarter, but as a consequence of deeper discounting, the gross margin rates which we achieved were lower than planned.”

He added: “Looking forward, in common with many UK retailers, we continue to anticipate an extremely challenging retail landscape, particularly within our physical stores, as a result of reduced footfall and rising costs.

“Alongside the macro trend of more retail transactions moving online, we expect the uncertain consumer environment and significant cost headwinds to continue.”

Earlier this month, Joules boss Colin Porter was announced as Moss Bros’ new chairman, replacing current chair Debbie Hewitt when she retires in May after nine years in the post.

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