Menswear retailer Moss Bros reported improving sales for the 18 weeks to December 5, when like-for-likes climbed 5.5%.

Like-for-likes fell 2.6% in the six months to August 1, yet in the 44 weeks to December 5 they rose 0.5%, and total sales advanced 2.2%. Year-to-date gross margin was ahead of last year despite a highly promotional market.

Numis analyst Andy Wade said: “With the menswear market remaining in decline for the second successive year, we believe Moss Bros is taking material market share.”
He added that the retailer is “well positioned for recovery” as independents continue to exit the market and it has cash on the balance sheet.

David Stoddart, analyst at Moss Bros’ house broker Altium Securities said Moss Bros’ net cash position will enable it “to ride out a difficult consumer market” and seal “margin-enhancing deals with suppliers”.