Given the ongoing volatile trading environment, the Moss Bros Board is not recommending an interim dividend payment, continuing to give the business maximum flexibility for investment, whilst retaining a strong debt free balance sheet (2018/19 interim dividend 1.5 pence). Dividend Policy will be reviewed throughout the year, considering the overall yield, balanced against the wider investment needs of the business.
Other financial highlights include:
Total Group revenue, excluding VAT, of £65.4m, 1.4% up on the previous year.
Like-for-like retail sales up 2.9%. Store like-for-like sales up 0.6%.
Online sales across all platforms grew 20% vs HY1 last year. Online sales from all channels now represents 15.0% of total sales (HY1 2018 12.7%).
Like for like hire sales, which represent only 10.7% of total sales in the half (HY1 2018 12.3%) on a cash taken basis were 14.7% lower.
Retail gross margin at 55.8% was -0.7% lower for the half year versus HY1 2018, impacted by channel mix.
EBITDA*** for the first half was £11.4m after IFRS 16 impact and £3.1m before IFRS 16 impact (HY1 2018 £3.7m) as detailed in note 9.
Adjusted profit before adoption of IFRS 16 and before tax was just above breakeven, -£0.2m lower than the same period in the prior year (HY1 2018 £0.2m).
Loss before tax of £2.7m (HY1 2018 loss £1.7m) after IFRS 16 impact of -£1.1m and after adjusting items of -£1.6m as detailed in note 6.
The Group has adopted the new IFRS 16 accounting standard effective 27 January 2019 the full effect of which, including the negative £1.1m impact on first half profitability noted above, is detailed in note 2.4 (a).
Careful cash management delivered a positive cash balance of £18.2m at the end of the half (HY1 2018 £15.2m), reflecting the strong cash flow generation of the business.