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Moss Bros rues the winter heat as profits drop

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11/04/2007

Moss Bros, the menswear retailer, has blamed the exceptionally mild winter for a 20% drop in profits. These fell to £5.3m for the year to 27th January, with like-for-like sales down 1.3%, the first drop for five years.

Moss Bros said that fewer people wanted warm winter coats and suits as the season had been so exceptionally mild, and added that trading continued to be tough, with sales down 1% in the first 10 weeks of the year.

Chief executive Philip Mountford said: “The menswear market remains highly competitive and after five years of growth the operating profits reflect a difficult year.

“While the mild winter knocked off £0.8m off profits, the World Cup last summer also deprived us of £0.5m as men did not come out to shop while the football was on.”

In the past year, Moss Bros has trialled a new concept in store layout aiming to maximise trading space and focusing on presentation. The seven stores that have been refurbished in this way have enjoyed a 10% rise in sales.

The firm intends to roll out the concept store look to 11 shops and apply “key elements” of the scheme to 13 others.

“We aim to be positive for the longer term,” Mountford said.

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