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Moss Bros 2022 sales, profit up as formalwear demand surges

By Huw Hughes


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Image: Moss Bros Jermyn Street store

British menswear retailer Moss Bros experienced a jump in sales and profitability last year as it continued to see a surge in demand for formalwear post pandemic.

Like many formalwear retailers, Moss Bros was hit hard by the pandemic, not only by store closures but also by the cancellation of social gatherings and large events such as weddings and the Royal Ascot.

But the company has seen pent up demand since Covid restrictions ended in the UK. In the 12 months ended January 28 2023, the company's sales surged 62.7 percent to 151.6 million pounds, according to filings at Companies House.

“The group is highly cash generative and has no debt,” Moss Bros said, thanks to a “post pandemic surge in demand for weddings, sporting events, proms, black tie, and other similar events”.

Moss Bros opened eight stores during the year, while it said its online business benefited from a website refresh along with expansion into other digital marketplaces.

“All this activity was complemented by the expanding casual wear offer,” the retailer said.

Profits widen, ‘Moss’ rebrand

The company’s EBITDA widened to 36 million pounds in the year, up from 17 million pounds a year earlier, “reflecting the strong post-pandemic performance”. Its pre-tax profit increased to 33.2 million pounds from 12.4 million pounds.

Looking at its more recent performance, Moss Bros said it “continues to trade strongly” and it expects that to continue into the year ending 28 January 2024.

The company said: “Whilst there remains uncertainty around the cost of living crisis and the wider macro-economic and geopolitical environment, the directors are confident about the trading outlook and expect the demand for weddings and other events to be sustained at levels ahead of the pre-pandemic period.

“As well as providing unrivalled in store service levels in our sector, the group has diversified its product ranges by stretching into smart casual wear which complements the other formal products and is focused on providing value to our customers by selling exceptional quality at affordable price points.

“We have continued to trade with minimal promotional discounting to drive sales at full price.”

The retailer also Friday announced a rebrand of its name Moss Bros - which dates back to 1851 - to simply Moss.

“The business nowadays offers much more than formalwear,” the company said. “This move reflects the modern, more diverse, digital, omni-channel retailer we are today without losing our amazing heritage.”

Moss Bros