- Moss Bros said its overall trading performance has shown further improvement on the prior year, in line with market expectations.

In a trading update for the period Jan. 31 t May 14 it noted strong retail sales have underpinned this good performance and Hire continues to show positive growth on the prior year.

Total sales for the continuing business for the first 15 weeks increased 3.3% on last year, with like-for-like (LFL) sales up 5.0% for the same period.

LFL retail sales, including e-commerce, were up 5.1% with the new season's ranges performing well. LFL hire sales were up 4.7%, continuing the encouraging trend for 2016 bookings.

The company added that LFL retail gross margins were very strong, up 430 basis points on the previous year, an acceleration of the improvement achieved in 2015/16, and boosted by the decision not to run a mid- season sale during the period.

Moreover, LFL retail gross profit rose 13.9% on the year in in cash terms.

E-commerce sales continued to increase, up 9.7% on last year, driven by the ongoing development of the Retail and Hire websites.

Total e-commerce sales now comprise 10.7% of total sales for the 15 weeks to date compared with 10.0% for the same period last year. Conversion rates and average order values achieved further improvement.

Story provided by