Moss Bros shares dive on profit warning

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Shares in Moss Bros have fallen sharply after the menswear retailer reported disappointing results, with sales being hit by the hot summer weather and the “distraction” of the World Cup.

Its shares fell by almost 30% at one point as it also warned that full-year profits would be lower than expected.

Moss Bros reported a pre-tax loss of £1.7m for the six months to 28 July, down from a profit of £3.9m last year.

Revenues for the six months fell by 3.3% to £64.5m.

Like-for-like retail sales, including e-commerce, dropped 6.9%.

Footfall ‘dropped dramatically’

The company’s chief executive, Brian Brick, said trading during the period had been “one of the most volatile for many years”.

After fixing “supply chain issues” that had led to stock shortages at the start of the year, sales picked up, Mr Brick said.

However, he added: “This came to an abrupt end when High Street footfall dropped dramatically, impacted by the protracted and unplanned period of extremely hot weather and the widespread distraction of England’s success in the World Cup.

“Although all retailers were impacted in some way, Menswear was specifically impacted negatively by the combination and longevity of these two external factors.

“The position was exacerbated by the distressed discounting of some competitors.”

In the second quarter of the year, Moss Bros said customer footfall at its stores fell by 7% on average, with the worst affected outlets seeing a 14% drop.

The retailer was pushed into a loss for the half-year after taking a £1.2m impairment charge for a “small number of underperforming stores”, and a £800,000 hit from “reorganisation and employee-related costs”.

Moss Bros said it was still on track to deliver a full-year operating profit, excluding one-off items, but it would be “materially lower than current market expectation of £2.3m.”

The news sent shares in Moss Bros down by nearly 30% at one point, before they recovered to slightly to stand 13% lower.

Moss Bros first opened in Covent Garden, London in 1851, and now has 130 stores.


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