Moss Bros yesterday reported a 17.7% fall in annual profits as it announced the appointment of two unnamed non-executives from Unity Investments to its board. Financial Times.

The retailer, which also operates the Cecil Gee and Hugo Boss brands, reported a 1% fall in like-for-like sales in the first 10 weeks of the current financial year.

‘We have had a difficult first 10 weeks in which we have refitted 21 stores, so there has been a lot of disruption and this was up against a period where the sales comparison was a rise 2.1% this time last year,’ it said.

A profits warning in January fuelled speculation that Icelandic investment group Baugur – which owns nearly 30% of the business with its partners Unity – would launch a takeover bid.

Philip Mountford, Moss Bros chief executive, said the menswear market remained ‘highly competitive’. ‘After five years of growth, the underlying revenue and operating profit figures reflect a difficult year.’

However, he said Moss Bros was ‘taking steps’ to respond to competition, including a store assessment and refit programme.