Sep 27, 2011
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Moss Bros swings to profit; sees FY ahead of prior view

Sep 27, 2011

Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:08am BST

n">(Reuters) - Moss Bros (MOSB.L) swung to a first-half adjusted pretax profit, helped by cost cuts and strong sales across both its hire and retail markets and said it expected outturn for the full year to be ahead of its prior view.

Moss Bros

The British menswear retailer said trading in the eight weeks ended September 24 has been impacted by rising raw material prices, which may diminish its cost savings.

Fears of a further downturn in consumer spending plagued the company, which plans to continue with its cost saving programme.

A survey earlier this month indicated UK consumer confidence slipped to a four-month low in August, auguring ill for consumption and suggesting that domestic demand will remain a drag on the fragile economy.

The company, which retails menswear through the Moss fascia and hire formal wear under the Moss Bros Hire brand, had earlier in the year sold right of its nine Cecil Gee stores to sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion (JD.L), and disposed 15 Hugo Boss franchised stores.

The company reported January 30-July 30 pretax profit from continuing operations of 2.2 million pounds, compared with a pretax loss of 2.8 million pounds a year ago.

Like-for-like sales were up 15.4 percent.

Moss Bros shares, which have gained 39 percent year to date, were indicated up 6 percent at 0649 GMT on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Juhi Arora in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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