Shares in UK clothing retailer Moss Bros fell by nearly 14% this morning (5 December) after the company issued a profit warning, saying that its full-year figures were unlikely to meet expectations.

The warning came on the back of lower sales levels in the past seven weeks in particular. Like-for-like sales in the first 18 weeks of the company's second half were down 1.5%, with total sales down 3.7% as a result of planned store closures.

"We still have the key Christmas trading weeks to come which, as always, will have a major bearing on the final outcome for the year," said Moss Bros.

"However, given the sales performance of the last seven weeks, it seems unlikely that full-year profits will reach the current market consensus."

The company pointed out that it had developed plans to reduce costs and maximise returns, and had a strong balance sheet with no debt.

It was "well-resourced" to minimise the impact of any downturn and to capitalise on subsequent improvement.

"Our sales performance in the last two months reflects the tough trading conditions in our markets," said chief executive Philip Mountford. "However, we enter this key period with well-developed retail plans, a good product range, better store environments and tight stocks.

"Using our strong positive cash position, we are confident that continued investment in our stores and our offer will underpin future growth."