Mothercare Continues On Path To Recovery

Mothercare has reported a 1.2% rise in UK like-for-like sales in its first quarter to 9 July, boosted by its decision to bring its end-of-season sale forward by one week to clear stock following the adverse weather during the period.

Total UK sales were down 2.1%, reflecting its strategy of closing underperforming stores. The group ended the quarter with 170 stores (162 Mothercare and eight ELC) and continued with its store refurbishment programme.

Moves to grow its online business continued to pay-off with sales up 6.4%. Online now accounts 35.5% of its total UK sales compared to 32.7% last year.

However, Mothercare warned of “continued volatility” in its overseas business after reporting a 3.9% fall in sales during the quarter, impacted by the earlier timing of Ramadan.

Looking ahead to the effects of the EU referendum result, Chief Executive Mark Newton-Jones said: “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.”