REPORT_ Moss Bros Group the profit before tax from continuing operations for the six monthsto July 26, 2014 was 2 million pounds (3.2 million dollars), as expected marginally below the prior year figure of 2.2 million pounds (3.5 million dollars) due to the higher number of stores that were closed for refit in the first half of this year, compared with the previous year. Trading in the seven weeks to 13 September 2014 has been encouraging with like for like sales up 6 percent.
Total revenue increased by 4.6 percent in the six months to July 26, 2014 to 55.8 million pounds (91.2 million dollars). Like for like retail sales performed well, increasing by 8.5 percent. Moss Bros Hire maintained its position as the leading brand name in formal hire, despite recording a like for like sales reduction (before the deferral of revenue in relation to Hire deposits) of 2.7 percent. Overall like for like sales were up 6.4 percent in the first half.
Commenting on the results and outlook, Brian Brick, Chief Executive Officer, said, “These results reflect another period of progress for the company. We continue to invest in the future and make good progress in delivering our strategy. The successful launch of our new sub brand line up at the start of the Autumn 2014 season, in conjunction with our ongoing store refit programme, means our customer offer is now more closely defined and aligned with our target customer groups. We expect to see further improvement in the second half of the year as we move out of the wedding season into eveningwear. We continue to develop our hire proposition, both in terms of product offer and service.”
New sub brands were successfully launched at the start of Autumn 2014, with Moss London, Moss 1851 and Moss Esquire replacing Ventuno, Blazer and DeHavilland. These new sub brands, combining with Savoy Taylors Guild, have created an authoritative and complementary customer offer across a range of fits and prices, underpinning company’s expertise in formalwear, under the master brand Moss Bros. The sub brand launch was supported by a marketing campaign.
Company currently trades from 133 stores and will continue to add new locations that meets its investment criteria. Company launched its country specific Australia site in the first half to add to sites serving Eire, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. International sales now comprise 5.9 percent of online retail sales. Mobile traffic continues to grow strongly and is now 9.1percent, of online sales. Overall online sales now comprise 6.8 percent of total group revenue compared to 5.1 percent in the first half of 2013.
Moss Bros Group retails and hires formal wear and fashion products for men, predominantly in the UK, with retail sales comprising 85 percent, and Hire 15 percent, of total sales. The group retails own brand and third party brand menswear through the Moss Bros fascia, and hires formal wear under the Moss Bros Hire brand through its mainstream stores. The group also trades through the premium Savoy Taylors Guild fascia in a small number of stores, where there is a historical link in areas such as the Strand in London.