Moss Bros is upbeat, but not suited by the weather


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The Independent Online

Retailer Moss Bros has warned that cash-strapped consumers are delaying hiring suits for weddings, and recent trading had been dampened by the wintry weather.

But the men’s suit specialist remained “confident” about hitting market expectations for this year, after raising its profits and dividend in 2012.

Moss Bros said its underlying gross profit margin was lower by 2.4% in the first seven weeks of its financial year, and sales were down by slightly more.

Chief executive Brian Brick said: “A return to more seasonal weather would be good. When you wake up on March 22 and it’s snowing, it is not conducive to selling linen [suits].” He added that customers are delaying putting down deposits to hire suits, as “money is tighter”, but believes the bookings will be made closer to events such as weddings and balls.

Profits rose by £2.1 million to £3 million over the year to January 26. The total dividend was up 125% at 0.9p.