Mothercare posts drops in UK like-for-like sales
Mothercare has posted a decline in its first quarter UK like-for-like sales as it continues to work on its turnaround.
In the 15 weeks to 13 July, UK like-for-likes were down 3.2% although the retailer said its performance improved towards the end of the period. Online sales were impacted by Mothercare’s ongoing store closure programme and the loss of iPad sales in the stores. This resulted in an overall reduction in online sales of 12.1%.
Meanwhile, international sales fell by 4.5% as growth in India, Indonesia and Russia was offset by an 11.1% sales decline in the Middle East.
Mothercare said a challenging UK market meant it had to invest in more promotional activity to stimulate sales, both in its stores and online.
It also warned that its full year underlying pre-tax profit is expected to be broadly comparable to the previous year, but said it has the full support of its lenders.
Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive of Mothercare, said: “We have continued to make good strategic progress in the first quarter in our transformation to deliver a sustainable and profitable future for the Mothercare brand.
“The process of restructuring and rebuilding a sustainable business continues, and we have in place financing plans to support these actions as we aim to be bank-debt free by the end of the year. Our immediate priority is to complete the transformation of the business with a near-term focus on evolving and optimising the ownership, structure and model for our UK retail operations as an independent franchise. “
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