Moss Bros saw Q1 sales climb but it cautioned on the year ahead

Moss Bros saw Q1 sales climb but it cautioned on the year ahead

Men's wear retailer Moss Bros Group booked higher sales in its first-quarter but saw its share price fall as it revealed lower margins and cautioned on the year ahead.

Total sales for the 15 weeks ended 29 January were up 3.7% on last year, while like-for-like sales grew 2.3%. Thanks to the company's new season's ranges performing well, like-for-like retail sales, including e-commerce, were up 5.5%.

E-commerce sales, which now account for 11.6% of total sales, grew 14.7% on last year thanks to continued growth in mobile traffic.

Retail gross margins, however, were 50 basis points below the previous year due to the re-introduction of a mid-season sale during April as a response to a much tougher trading environment than the previous year, when the sale activity was removed.

CEO Brian Brick acknowledged the continuing tough trading environment and highly competitive marketplace, which he said has seen significantly more markdown activity than the same period last year.

He added: "We continue to be acutely aware of the economic headwinds which we will face for the remainder of the financial year, as input cost increases come into effect. We are also mindful that zero real wage growth will impact on consumer confidence. We will remain agile in our response to these market conditions."

Moss Bros' share price was down 5.55% to 106.96 pence at 09:39 GMT today (19 May).