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Mothercare grows UK like-for-like sales by 2.1% in fourth quarter

Mothercare saw its UK like-for-like sales rise by 2.1% in its fourth quarter as trade was supported by online sales which grew by 5.6% in the period.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Mothercare grows UK like-for-like sales by 2.1% in fourth quarter

Mothercare saw its UK like-for-like sales rise by 2.1% in its fourth quarter as trade was supported by online sales which grew by 5.6% in the period.

In the 11 weeks to 26 March, total UK sales were up 0.8% despite a planned 6.4% year-on-year reduction in space.

During the period, the retailer’s continued focus on full price sales led to another quarter of stronger gross margins

It ended the quarter with 170 stores of which 56 were trading in the retailer’s new refitted format.

Mark Newton-Jones, Mothercare chief executive, said: "Overall group underlying profit for FY2016 is within the range of current market expectations. The UK is responding well to our strategy with continued sales growth and improved margins.

"In the UK we have delivered our eighth consecutive quarter of positive like-for-like sales growth with a full year of improved margins. Almost 40% of space is now in the new and much improved format, which along with a revamped online offer, improved product and service are being well received by our customers."

Mothercare said its international sales continued to be affected by ongoing economic and currency headwinds. Sales were down 9.7% in constant currency and down 10.8% on an actual currency basis.

Newton-Jones added: "International continues to be adversely affected by the sustained economic and currency headwinds. Whilst all four regions are softer, the Middle East and China in particular have been impacted by weaker consumer confidence. Along with our partners, we continue to see opportunity to grow space and are now translating key learnings from modernising the UK into our international markets."

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