Solid Quarter For Mothercare, Driven By Online

Mothercare has revealed that its UK like-for-like sales were up 4.5% during its fourth quarter to 25 March. Performance was driven by online sales which grew 13.6% and now represent around 41% of UK sales.

The group ended the quarter with 152 stores (147 Mothercare and five ELC) of which 70% are now trading under its new format. It added that margin remains within its guidance for the full year.

Meanwhile, international retail sales were down 1.7% in constant currency and up 15.4% in actual currency, reflecting the currency tailwinds. Mothercare said the while many international markets are now in growth, the Middle East remains “challenging”.

Chief Executive Mark Newton-Jones commented: “Following a solid final quarter, our overall group performance remains broadly in line with market expectations for the year.

“We have made further progress in the period, with the UK performing particularly well on a like-for like basis. Customers’ response to our spring/summer ranges has been positive, as has the feedback on the new website and our new store environment; over the past two years we have successfully refurbished 70% of the store estate to our new, modern format. Our customer database now stands at over three million active customers, allowing us to communicate seamlessly between our digital and physical channels.”

He added: “We are firmly focused on our strategy to build our businesses both here in the UK and internationally and our vision remains clear: to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children.”