- Men's suit retailer Moss Bros Group swung to a first-half loss, cut its dividend and downgraded its annual guidance, after it suffered from a shortage of stock and wrote down the value of underperforming stores.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through 28 July amounted to £1.7m, compared to a profit of £3.9m on-year.

Revenue fell 3.3% to £64.5m, while retail gross margin slipped 2.8 percentage points to 56.5%.

Moss Bros cut its interim dividend to 1.50p per share, down from 2.03p on-year.

Retail like-for-like sales in the first seven weeks to 15 September were down 3.7%, which the company said showed an improved trend from the 'extreme reduction' in footfall during the high summer months.

Moss Bros said it was nevertheless unlikely to meet market expectations for its full-year performance.

'Although current trading is showing a steady and improving trend and the board recognises it is possible to mitigate the footfall-related gross profit shortfall of the summer via short-term cost cutting, we feel it would be detrimental to the long-term health of the business,' Moss Bros said.

'This decision to continue to invest means that the group is still on track to deliver an operating profit before adjusting items, but materially lower than current market expectation of £2.3m.'

At 9:34am: [LON:MOSB] Moss Bros Group PLC share price was -7.3p at 39.2p

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