Moss Bros swings to loss, first time since 2010/11

Moss Bros Group Plc in its preliminary results statement, covering the period from to January 26, 2019 said adjusted loss before tax was 0.4 million pounds (0.5 million dollars) compared to profit before tax of 6.7 million pounds restated in 2017/18. Statutory loss before tax was 4.2 million pounds (5.5 million dollars) compared to profit of 6.7 million pounds restated in the previous year. Moss Bros said, adjusted EBITDA reached 6.6 million pounds (8.7 million dollars) against EBITDA of 13.3 million pounds in 2017/18, impacted by lower retail store sales, weaker sterling and significant cost headwinds. Basic earnings per share were a loss of 3.83 pence.

Commenting on the results and outlook, Brian Brick, Chief Executive Officer of the company, said in a statement: “It has been an extremely challenging year for the business on many fronts, but I am confident that we have made significant progress in a number of areas of the business. However, it is disappointing to be reporting an adjusted loss before tax for the Group for the first time since 2010/11. 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.”

Moss Bros posts decline in like-for-like sales

Total Group revenue, excluding VAT, was down 2.1 percent on the previous year at 129 million pounds (170 million dollars), while group like-for-like sales of 140.2 million pounds (184.8 million dollars), including VAT, were down 4.3 percent. The company added that like-for-like retail sales including ecommerce declined 3.6 percent, while like-for-like hire sales were down 9.3 percent. Ecommerce sales including VAT increased 19.6 percent.

Given the volatile trading environment, the company added, its board is not recommending a final dividend payment, to give the business maximum flexibility for investment, whilst retaining a strong debt free balance sheet. The total dividend for the year is 1.5 pence per share compared to 4 pence in 2017/18.

Moss Bros further said that trading performance has strengthened overall in the first 8 weeks of the new financial year, but remains volatile. Total sales are up 3.6 percent on last year, driven by growth in e-commerce and wholesale channels and the benefit of no recurrence of last year’s stock issues. Retail like-for-like sales including e-commerce, including VAT are up 3.9 percent, while ecommerce sales, including VAT, in the first 8 weeks of the year are up 20.1 percent. Hire like-for-like, reported on a ‘cash taken’ basis, was down 13.4 percent in the first 8 weeks of the year.

Picture:Facebook/Moss Bros


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