Like-for-like sales at menswear group Moss Bros rose by 8.3% in the 18 weeks to December 4.

Moss Bros said that despite the promotional nature of the market retail margin was ahead of last year during the period.

Like-for-likes for the 44 weeks to December 4 were up by 10.2% and total sales for the 44 week period jumped 8.9%.

The company said its stock and cash remained tightly managed and a comprehensive review of the cost base of the business was underway. A full update will be given when the preliminary results are announced on March 30 next year.

Moss Bros chief executive Brian Brick said: “Whilst the economy continues to be fragile, the group’s sales have traded well ahead of last year and this trend has continued so far throughout the second half, although the out turn for the full year depends on trading during the important Christmas period.

“In addition, we have continued to make good progress on our strategic priorities of improving the calibre of store management, improving operational processes, reviewing the look and product mix of the core Moss stores and testing our innovative Moss Bespoke concept, which we will begin to roll out in the early part of 2011. The comprehensive review of the cost base of the business is well underway and we are on track to drive cost out of the business and simplify our operating model.”

He added that the business had entered the key pre-Christmas trading period “in the best shape we have been in for some time” but he added that the group was “mindful of the fragile nature of consumer confidence”.

Brick said: “We are managing the business to reflect these conditions and the board remains confident in the outlook for the full year.”