LONDON (Reuters) - British suit specialist Moss Bros
The firm, which sells and hires out formal clothing, said sales at stores open over a year jumped 12.9 percent ahead of the same period a year ago for the five weeks to January 11.
"The improved sales performance and continued strong cost management and rigorous clearance of stock, means that we will finish 2013/14 ahead of market expectations," the firm's Chief Executive Brian Brick said in a statement on Tuesday.
Prior to the update analysts had on average expected the firm to post a pretax profit of 3.15 million pounds for the full-year to January 25, according to a Reuters poll.
The group also said on Tuesday it would pursue an accelerated dividend policy in order to reduce its net cash position from an expected 28 million pounds at the year end to 15 million pounds over the medium term.
Moss Bross said it would pay a final dividend of 4.7 pence per share with its full-year results to January 25, making a total dividend of 5.0 pence per share for the year.
That compares with 0.9 pence per share for the year in 2013.
($1 = 0.6104 British pounds)
(Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by Kate Holton)