Mothercare reports full year loss in UK
In the year to end March, the group made a pre-tax loss of £21.7 million in the UK, compared to a loss of £24.7 million in the previous year.
However, the group’s international division increased its profits by 20.3% to £42 million, helping the group to improve its underlying profit to £8.3 million from £1.6 million a year ago.
While international like-for-like sales grew by 5.6%, UK like-for-like sales fell by 3.6% compared to a drop of 6.2% last year.
Total group sales fell by 7.8% in the year to £749.4 million while UK sales fell 10.8% £499.7 million. In the international business, sales rose by 8.4% to £728.7 million.
Mothercare said it had made good progress after the first year of its three-year transformation and growth plan and had improved value, choice, service and delivery for its customers both in store and online.
The group increased its international space by 2.8% and now has with 1,069 stores in 60 countries. In the UK, Mothercare closed 56 loss making stores, ending the year with 255 stores.
Simon Calver, chief executive of Mothercare, said: "My first year at Mothercare has been both exciting and challenging. I now have a full executive team in place and we are already making positive changes to the business. For all our customers, we are improving value, introducing new and more innovative products and investing in even better service. It is still early days and our customers are already beginning to respond positively buying more products on each trip and increasing their customer satisfaction scores.
"Online delivered 18.2% growth during the last quarter as the new online platform and the upgraded delivery options to both stores and home began to take effect. Our International franchise partners continue to perform very well, driving both Mothercare and Early Learning Centre forward in 60 countries worldwide and delivering robust sales and profit growth.
"Our results reflect the progress we have made against our plans to reduce UK losses and deliver continued International profit growth. After the first year of our Transformation and Growth plan, the company is on a firmer footing. I look forward to building on this in the years ahead, as the world's leading multi-channel mother and baby specialist."
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