Resumed dividend and lower loss suits Moss Bros investors

Moss Bros, the menswear retailer which saw off a takeover approach last year, predicted it would make a profit in the current year as the company reported reduced annual losses, a return to the dividend list and bouyant current trading.

Moss Bros was stalked by the retail entrepreneur Shami Ahmed last year but the Joe Bloggs founder failed to mount a formal offer.

Shares in the company jumped 3.25p to 42.25p as the group reported narrowed losses of £2.5m in the 12 months to 25 January compared with a deficit of £4.9m in the previous year.

The progress was underlined by losses of £3.7m in the first half moving to a £1.2m profit in the second. City analysts are now forecasting profits of £1m to £2m in the current year. In the nine weeks to the end of March like-for-like sales are up 9 per cent on the same period last year. This is partly because the comparison is with very weak trading last year when the group's underlying sales were down by 7 per cent.

Adrian Wright, the chief executive, said he was pleased with the performance so far but admitted that there was "much more work that still needs to be done". He said: "It has been 12 months of looking for stability concentrating on three key fascias and getting the cash flow coming through." He added the business had received no recent contact from Mr Ahmed.

The slimmed down group now consists of 94 Moss stores aimed at mainstream fashion, 24 Cecil Gee outlets specialising in younger fashion and 10 upmarket Hugo Boss outlets operated under licence. It also has its Moss Hire division which is now offering lounge suits for hire for £35. "It's for people who otherwise don't have a suit in their wardrobe and it's looking very positive," Mr Wright said. "It's for weddings, funerals and students going for an interview."

Mr Wright said Moss Bros was taking market share from Marks & Spencer, Next and Suits You with suits such as its "ultimate business suit", an all-wool garment priced at £149.

Moss Bros is concentrating on getting stock into stores more quickly, having four fashion seasons a year instead of two and adding more product innovation. The dividend is 0.75p per share.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system