Moss Bros sales driven by online and formalwear hire

UK menswear company Moss Bros Group on Friday said improved sales and tight control over costs pushed earnings higher in 2012.

UK menswear company Moss Bros Group on Friday said improved sales and tight control over costs pushed earnings higher in 2012.

Pre-tax profits before exceptional items came to £3.0m, an increase of £2.1m on the prior year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped to £7.9m from £5.8m, boosted by an increase in sales.

Formalwear hire played a big hand in driving sales as the clothing business benefit from sporting events and the Royal Jubilee last year.

E-commerce sales continued to grow strongly, up 54.3% with a new retail website launched in January 2013 and click and collect now available nationwide.

"We continue to make good progress and to bring momentum to the growth in profit in spite of tough trading conditions," Chief Executive Officer Brian Brick said.

"During 2013/14 we will continue the roll-out of the store development programme and the development of our e-commerce multi-channel offering."

He said the board will recommend a final dividend of 0.7p per share, up from 0.4p.

Looking ahead, the company is confident is will achieve its target this year. However, sales in the first seven weeks of the new financial year are slightly below the year before.

"The operational trends in the business are moving in the right direction and, although trading in the first seven weeks of 2013/14 is slightly below last year's levels, we remain confident that the business will continue to make good progress in 2013/14 and meet market expectations," Brick added.

The group will continue its plan to refit 90 stores over the next five years after completing 14 stores last year.

Shares rose 1.50% to 67.50p at 09:04 Friday.

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