Moss Bros results show there's still life in the formal menswear sector
Moss Bros may no longer be a stock exchange-listed company, but it seems to have retained one habit from the days before it was taken private — reporting its results promptly.
Unlike most private firms, the retailer has already filed its results for the year to the end of January 2022 at Companies House.
And they show plenty of reason for optimism, suggesting that the era of men buying smart suits isn't quite as over as many have suggested it is in recent months.
The company said that its turnover rose to just over £93 million in the 52-week period, up from £38.6 million in the previous year that had reflected the devastating impact of the pandemic on the formal menswear in which it specialises.
And the improved turnover helped its profit on an EBITDA basis rise to £17 million from a loss of £11.7 million a year earlier. Those figures look even better given that the previous financial year that ended in January 2021 was a 53-week one. Profit before tax in the latest year was £12.4 million compared to a loss of £21.8 million the year before and net profit reached £10.4 million after the previous year’s £17.6 million loss.
The company said the improvement was a direct result of its stores reopening in April last year after the pandemic, and its strategy to meet post-pandemic demand. The lifting of restrictions allowed people to attend weddings, social, sporting and other similar events that had been postponed in the previous year.
It added that despite widespread difficulties across UK retail, its performance in the latest year was indicative of the resilience of a certain segment of UK consumers “and their willingness to buy products which offer exceptional quality at reasonable price points”. And although it's careful not to deviate too far from its core, it believes the brand can appeal to an increasingly broad customer base with room for further expansion.
The business has traded strongly since that reopening almost a year ago and it expects the strong performance to continue in the current year as the company and the UK economy get back to some form of normality.
Of course, there remains a certain amount of uncertainty around the pandemic and the wider macroeconomic and geopolitical environment. But Moss Bros doesn't have to worry too much about consumer demand abroad as its focus is almost completely the UK. And the directors are increasingly confident about the trading outlook and general demand for its products in Britain.
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