Sep 29, 2009
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UK retailer Moss Bros losses widen

Sep 29, 2009

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - British menswear retailer Moss Bros Group (MOSB.L) on Tuesday 29 September posted a widening in first-half losses but said it would meet its expectations for the full year.

Moss Bros "classic" spring-summer 2009

The firm, which runs the Moss and Cecil Gee chains and owns the UK licence for brands such as Hugo Boss, made a pretax loss of 3.0 million pounds ($4.8 million) for the six months to Aug. 1.

That compares with a loss of 2.2 million pounds in previous corresponding period.

Total group sales fell 0.6 percent to 52.1 million pounds and were down 2.6 percent on a like-for-like basis, but gross margin was maintained at 56 percent.

The retailer said like-for-like retail sales in the first eight weeks of its second half have continued an improving trend seen at the end of the first half, with the gross margin maintained.

Prior to Tuesday (29 September)'s update analysts were on average forecasting a year to end-Jan pretax loss of 7 million pounds, according to Reuters Estimates. That compares with a loss of 5 million pounds in the previous year.

Shares in Moss Bros have increased in value by 50 percent over the last three months on recovery hopes, outperforming general retailers .FTASX5370 by 21 percent.

The stock closed Monday 28 September at 29.25 pence, valuing the business at 28 million pounds. (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Mark Potter)

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