Clothing & Shoes

Moss Bros suffers £4.2m loss in 2018

Men’s fashion retailer Moss Bros has reported statutory loss before tax of £4.2m for the year ending 26 January 2019.

This included store fixed asset impairment charges and dilapidation provisions of £2.6m and reorganisation and employee related charges of £1.2m.

EBITDA fell to £6.6m during the year, compared with £13.3m the previous year, and was impacted by lower retail store sales, weaker sterling and significant cost headwinds. However, the retailer said mitigating actions “have been taken and are gaining traction”.

Moss Bros said in the first half, early season stock shortages in spring 2018 caused “significant trading issues”, which were fully resolved by April 2018. However, footfall was then significantly impacted by a combination of abnormally cold and then hot weather and sporting event success distracting customers from shopping across the summer.

CEO Brian Brick said: “It has been an extremely challenging year for the business on many fronts, but I am confident that we have made significant progress in a number of areas of the business. However, it is disappointing to be reporting an adjusted loss before tax for the group for the first time since 2010/11.

“As previously reported, we suffered from a combination of a significant stock shortage and extremes of weather, alongside sporting distraction in the first half, which impacted footfall into our stores.”

He added: “Whilst we were able to improve our performance in the second half of the year, this was in part as a result of adopting a more aggressive trading stance in reaction to competitor activity. We saw positive sales momentum during the fourth quarter, but as a consequence of deeper discounting, the gross margin rates which we achieved were lower than planned.”

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