Moss Bros profits rise but sales growth slows

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Moss Bros, supplier of suits to wedding parties across the UK, said it was seeing the benefits of a store refit programme and better product range despite what it described as “tough market conditions”.

Pre-tax profits rose 20.3 per cent from £5.9m to £7.1m for the twelve months ended January 28. Revenues were up 5.7 per cent to £127.9m.

The formalwear retailer’s online business continued its solid growth, with sales up 15.7 per cent for the latest year. But that marked a considerable slowdown from the pace of growth in the previous financial year, when they grew 36.3 per cent.

Growth in hire sales, which performed well in 2015, also slowed. They were up only 1.5 per cent on a like for like basis compared to 11.7 per cent growth a year before, and represented a smaller proportion of sales.

Chief executive Brian Brick, said:

We continue to add to the capabilities of the management team and we are well placed to accelerate our growth, in spite of continuing tough market conditions and the ongoing headwinds which we face as a result of increasing input costs in many areas.

The group continued its management overhaul in 2016, adding a new finance director, chief operating officer and customer director.

The final dividend of 3.98p was a slight increase on last year’s 3.75p, taking the total dividend for the year to 5.89p, up 6.1 per cent on the previous year. Earnings per share were up 17 per cent to 5.51p.

Reporting by Cat Rutter Pooley

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