Formal menswear retailer Moss Bros has posted a 3.7% jump in like-for-likes for the 19 weeks to December 8, 2012.
Moss Bros said hire sales have driven the performance, while the deferred income in the first half due to the summer of sport has now “fully recovered” as expected.
The retailer said it is on track to deliver growth at the level of market expectations.
Like-for-like sales for the 45 weeks to December 8 advanced 4.9%, while total sales across the same period were 4.6% up on last year.
Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick said: “We are encouraged by the trading momentum throughout the business, which has continued into this year. We are particularly pleased with the progress and resilience of our Hire business, which has successfully overcome the challenges posed by the summer’s sporting activities.
“We enter the important Christmas trading period in good shape. We continue to develop the business by leveraging the strength of our brands and our operational capabilities, while managing to reflect the difficult trading environment. The Board remains confident in the outlook for the full year.”
In the 19-week period Moss Bros has expanded the group’s ecommerce capability and the retailer will launch a new website in January, which will have better functionality and extend click-and-collect to all UK stores. A new Hire website is to launch in the first half of 2013.
Moss Bros said there had been some recovery of its gross margins due to an easing in the price of raw materials and more direct sourcing.
In addition, 14 stores have been refitted this year so far and another 25 store refits are planned for 2013/14.