• Pre-tax profit reaches GBP900,000
  • Like-for-like retail sales up 13.1%
  • Like-for-like hire sales up 10.1%

Formal men's wear retailer Moss Bros Group has today (29 March) posted a full-year profit "turnaround", on the back of increased sales and cost cuts. 

For the 52 weeks ended 28 January, the company posted pre-tax profit from continuing operations of GBP900,000 (US$1.4m), up from a loss of GBP8.9m. Operating income reached GBP977,000 compared to a loss of GBP8.9m the year before.

Moss Bros completed the sale of its Hugo Boss franchise and sold its Cecil Gee stores, contributing to its full-year profit. It added that a "focus on product, operational delivery and cost control have combined to return the business to profitability".

Revenue jumped 15.2% to reach GBP101.2m. Like-for-like retail sales were up 13.1%, while hire sales increased 10.1%.

The company opened ten new stores and one outlet during the year and closed five stores. It added that it plans to open one store in the next 12 months.

For the eight weeks to 25 March, Moss Bros said business "continued to be encouraging" with like-for-like sales improving in line with expectations.

Looking forward, Moss Bros CEO Brian Brick said: "In spite of tough trading conditions, we continue to make great progress in turning the business around. We have continued with our work on the new store fits, to improve the customer perception of the brand and to improve financial returns."

"We are also progressing our plans for an integrated e-commerce offering and exploring ways of leveraging our customer data, whilst at the same time applying careful management of our costs, to ensure we have resilience if there is another downturn in consumer spending," he added.

The retailer said it will be recommending to its shareholders to return to paying a dividend, for the first time in five years.

Conlumino analyst Simon Chinn believes that although the year ahead remains challenging, Moss Bros has outlined a clear direction, which will stand it in good stead.

"Furthermore, the roll out of click-and-collect and click-and-return services in its stores later this year will help boost convenience credentials as it squarely addresses the time-pressures faced by many consumers," he said.

Development of these services will help the company position itself as a multi-channel business, Chinn added.