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Mothercare like-for-like sales up 1.2% in UK

Mothercare saw its UK like-for-like sales rise by 1.2% in its first quarter after its end of season sale was brought forward by a week to clear stock following unseasonable weather in the period.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Mothercare like-for-like sales up 1.2% in UK

Mothercare saw its UK like-for-like sales rise by 1.2% in its first quarter after its end of season sale was brought forward by a week to clear stock following unseasonable weather in the period.

In the 15 weeks to 9 July total UK sales were down 2.1% as a result of a 4.8% year-on-year reduction in store space.

UK online sales rose by 6.4% to account for 35.5% of total UK sales. Some 84% of online traffic came from mobile devices which accounted for 61% of online sales.

Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive of Mothercare, said: "Our focus remains firmly on the turnaround of our business and putting strong foundations down for the future and we have made further progress during this quarter.

"In the UK sales were impacted by unseasonable weather, this resulted in bringing our end-of-season sale forward by one week to ensure a cleaner stock position while also making way for the new season's ranges. We continued with our refurbishment of stores in the quarter and continued to improve our customers' shopping experience both instore and online."

International sales were up 3.9% in constant currencies with approximately half of the growth coming from the Middle East due to the earlier timing of Ramadan. Actual currency sales were up 5.1% with the Middle East and Asia reporting foreign exchange gains during the quarter.

Newton-Jones said: "International sales were materially helped by the timing of Ramadan, which was entirely in Q1 this year. We remain cautious and expect to see continued volatility during the first half of the year in our international business."

Looking ahead to the effects of the EU referendum, he added: "We have not seen any immediate consumer reaction to the Brexit vote, but it is too early to call as we went into the end-of-season sale early. We hedge both dollar purchases and royalty receipts and we expect limited impact on our financial results this year."

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