Moss Bros has suffered a further sales decline, but pointed to an “improvement” in performance as it grapples to turn around its fortunes.

The men’s formalwear specialist said like-for-likes fell 5.2% during the 15 weeks to May 12, while total sales slipped 2.4%.

But Moss Bros said that performance represented an uplift compared to the 6.5% like-for-like decline it suffered in March, when it was forced to issue a profit warning.

Its retail business, including online sales, registered a 5.2% slump during the period, an improvement on the 6.7% fall during March.

Moss Bros said the upturn in fortunes was driven by a “recovery” from new-season stock shortages.

Despite the improvement in retail sales, like-for-like hire sales fell 4.9%, unchanged from its March run rate.

Ecommerce sales jumped 11% year on year during the period and represented 13% of total sales during the 15 weeks.

Moss Bros cautioned that it was continuing to recover from the “stock-related challenges” it experienced at the start of its current financial year and warned that the consumer environment remained “fragile and more volatile”.

However, the business said it was “confident” of meeting full-year market expectations.

Boss Brian Brick said: “Following a disappointing start to the year, our trading performance has, as anticipated, begun to improve, as a result of our improving stock availability. The wider trading environment, however, remains tough with a fragile consumer environment.

“We remain conscious of the economic headwinds which we face but will, as described in March, continue to invest in the areas that ensure we leverage our distinct position on the high street.

“We will shortly enter a key period of our trading year, with wedding season, school proms and Ascot. We are well placed with our core offer and levels of stock availability to maximise our share of our customers’ spend.”

Moss Bros is due to unveil interim results on September 25.