Moss Bros Plunges After Hot U.K. Summer Cuts Suit Sales

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. suitmaker Moss Bros Group Plc is the latest retailer to wilt over the hot summer, warning that lower-than-expected store visits mean full-year profit will be “materially lower” than expected.

The shares fell as much as 29 percent to a seven-year low after the company said like-for-like retail sales were down 6.9 percent in the first half. Full-year earnings will suffer because the company decided against cutting costs to shore up results, saying that would have been “detrimental to the long-term health of the business.”

The warning is the latest bit of bad news for the U.K.’s retail sector, already reeling from the rise of Amazon.com Inc. and a Brexit-induced cost squeeze. Moss Bros, known for its tuxedo-rental services, had said in May that business was looking up after a profit warning in March.

The recovery “came to an abrupt end when high street footfall dropped dramatically, impacted by the protracted and unplanned period of extremely hot weather and the widespread distraction of England’s success in the World Cup,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Brick said in a statement Friday.

While the company still expects to report a profit for the full year, this will be well below market expectations of 2.3 million pounds ($3 million), according to the statement.

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