Mothercare's losses widen
Mothercare has announced that it made a pre-tax loss of £6.2 million in the 28 weeks to 6 October. This compares to a loss of £2.6 million in the same period last year.
During the period UK like-for-like sales were down 11.1% while international like-for-likes edged down 3.4%.
The company is currently working its way through a restructuring plan as it looks to save £19 million in costs. Its UK store portfolio is expected to reduce to fewer than 80 stores by April 2019, three months ahead of target.
Mothercare said the UK business had been impacted by a wider market uncertainty and by negative brand coverage relating to its refinancing exercise.
Commenting on the results of the half-year, Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive of Mothercare, said: "Over this period, we have continued our relentless focus to transform Mothercare into a business that has a sustainable and relevant future for its global customer base.
“We have completed the capital restructuring of the business, the UK store closure programme is well underway and due for completion earlier than planned, we are making our sourcing operations more efficient and our cost-saving initiatives are well on schedule.
“This momentum has allowed us to focus on revising the overall structure of the group, something which will help drive a greater focus on becoming a stronger global brand, with improved product design, marketing and distribution of Mothercare products around the world.”
While its UK business continues to struggle, Mothercare said its international business is showing signs of recovery with some core markets such as Russia, China and Indonesia moving into growth.
Newton-Jones added: “The UK retail environment, however, remains very challenging and given the ongoing uncertainty with consumer confidence, alongside the short-term impacts of our operational changes and restructuring programme, we expect performance in the remainder of our financial year to remain volatile.”
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