StockMarketWire.com - Moss Bross said trading accelerated over the Christmas period and that it expects to exceed market expectations for the 2013/14 financial year.

Like-for-like sales for the 5 weeks to 11 January 2014 were up 12.9% on the same period last year. LFL sales for the 24 weeks to 11 January 2014 were up 7.3% on the same period last year. LFL cash gross profit for the 24 weeks to 11 January 2014 was 5.6% ahead of last year.

The company intends to pursue an accelerated dividend policy to reduce its net cash position to a year-end position of about £15m over the medium term. The Board feels £15m million is an appropriate level of net cash taking into account the working capital requirements of the group.

Subject to any other strategic opportunities arising, therefore, the board intends to announce with its full year results for the year ended 25 January 2014 a recommended final dividend of 4.7 pence per share, being a total dividend of 5.0 pence per share for the year.

This compares with 0.9 pence per share for the year ended 26 January 2013. The Board expects to increase this dividend payout progressively thereafter.

Dividend payments in future periods will be split approximately one-thirds, two-thirds between interim and final dividends for any financial year.

Whilst the dividend for the year ended 25 January 2014 will be partly uncovered by earnings, given the strength of the Company's balance sheet and the cash generative nature of the business, the Board believes that this level of growing dividend payment is sustainable and leaves sufficient working capital flexibility going forwards.












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