Moss Bros reports pre-COVID loss of £7.4m

Men’s formalwear retailer Moss Bros has reported pre-tax losses of £7.4 million for the year to 25 January 2020, a 76.2% drop compared to the £4.2m profit the company made for 2019.

Top line sales feel during the year, with overall sales down 0.5%. Like-for-like sales fell 1.2% despite a strong growth of 6.5% in online business, with e-commerce sales now accounting for 16.9% of group revenue.

Like-for-like hire sales (which accounts for 9.8% of the business) were also down 16.3% in the year.

In the 52-week period, Moss Bros reported an EBITDA of £5.5m pre-IRFS, with total gross margins reduced by 0.1%, largely attributed to a reduction in hire sales.

In December 2020, Landlords gave the green light to Moss Bros’ CVA restructuring plans.

Brian Brick, chief executive of Moss Bros, said the approval of the CVA would allow the company to “reset” its cost base and “emerge from the pandemic on a sure financial footing”.

The retailer, which was impacted by store closures, wedding and social event cancellations and decreased demand for office clothing, operates 128 retail stores and employs about 800 staff.

The retailers annual report said it does not expect to “return to pre-COVID levels in the short-term”, anticipating a long-term impact on the desire for formal menswear.