Menswear retailer Moss Bros has reported a strong end to the financial year after sourcing new ranges and cutting back on costs.
The group, which operates the Moss, Cecil Gee and Hugo Boss brands, said like-for-like sales during the last quarter to January 28 were four per cent higher than the previous year.
Profits were in line with expectations while total like-for-like sales for the last financial year were up 2.5 per cent.
The business said it had improved the sourcing of its clothing as it prepared to add ten more stores in 2006.
It currently operates 106 Moss shops, 22 stores under the Cecil Gee brand and 11 Hugo Boss outlets, including one in Birmingham's The Mailbox.
And despite a slowing in sales in October, Moss Bros said it was "optimistic" about beating the rest of the British menswear market across the second half of its financial year.
To cut costs the business has switched suppliers from companies in Portugal and Turkey to cheaper competitors in India and the Ukraine and has reduced the number of external business agencies it uses such as law and PR firms by introducing its own in-house specialists.
Over the last year the business has been split in half to allow staff to concentrate on particular sectors rather than operate across the group.
The group's chains are predominately in the South, but Moss hopes to expand the business further into the Midlands and North of England, ideally with 15 new openings in these areas in the next 12 months.