• Like-for-like sales up 3.7% in 19 weeks to 8 December 
  • Year-to-date sales rose 4.6%
  • CEO remains confident in for full-year

Men's formalwear specialist Moss Bros Group said it remains "confident" in its full-year outlook after posting like-for-like sales growth in recent trading. 

Like-for-like sales increased 3.7% for the 19 weeks to 8 December. The retailer said hire sales boosted growth, while the income deferred in the first half due to the summer's sporting events has been fully recovered.

Moss Bros said its gross margins have seen some recovery thanks to an increase in direct sourcing and the easing of cost pressures on raw materials.

Total sales for the 45 weeks to 8 December were up 4.6% on last year, while like-for-like sales increased 4.9%.

CEO Brian Brick said: "We are encouraged by the trading momentum throughout the business which has continued into this year. We are particularly pleased with the progress and resilience of our hire business, which has successfully overcome the challenges posed by the summer's sporting activities. 
"We enter the important Christmas trading period in good shape. We continue to develop the business by leveraging the strength of our brands and our operational capabilities, whilst managing it to reflect the difficult trading environment. The board remains confident in the outlook for the full year."

Moss Bros continued to expand its e-commerce capability with the launch of a new website in January.

The company said it has refitted 14 stores this year as part of its five-year plan to refit 90 stores. The group said trading has improved at these stores and expects to refit a further 25 stores in 2013/2014.