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Mothercare sales improve as turnaround continues

Mothercare has made further progress with its turnaround as it reported that like-for-like sales rose by 5.1% in the UK in its fourth quarter.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Mothercare sales improve as turnaround continues

Mothercare has made further progress with its turnaround as it reported that like-for-like sales rose by 5.1% in the UK in its fourth quarter.

The 11 weeks to 28 March also saw the company increase its international retail sales by 11.4% in constant currencies.

Mothercare chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: "The final quarter is in line with our plan. In the UK our strategy of reducing promotional and discount activity and returning to being a full price retailer has continued to stabilise margin.

"By restricting discount periods we produced a stronger end of season sale with improved sell through rates as a result. Like-for-like and online sales have also benefited from this approach along with the initiatives to improve product and service put in place during the year. In International, the underlying businesses remain robust but economic pressures have affected sales."

During the quarter, online sales grew by around 32% and now represent circa 30% of total UK sales compared to 25% in the same period last year. Mobile sales climbed by 31% and click-and-collect now accounts for 36% of total online orders.

UK space was reduced by 4.5% which meant Mothercare ended the financial year with 189 stores as it continued to rationalise its store portfolio.

Newton-Jones added: "Over the last year, we have made good progress with our strategic plan. It is still early days in our turnaround, but we are putting the foundations in place by modernising and investing in our business. Our International business will continue to be challenged by ongoing global economic and foreign currency volatility and the UK will have to anniversary our new trading strategy during the year ahead."

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