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.
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...