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Mothercare scores strong Q4

Mothercare saw UK like-for-like sales rise 3.7% for the 11 weeks ended March 28.

Total UK sales rose 1.3% over the quarter and total group sales rose 5.6%.

Mothercare said that full year UK like-for-like sales were ahead 1.4%, with total UK sales up 2.4%. Mothercare continued to see strong growth in its international business, with overseas retail sales ahead 44.5%, and international like-for-like sales up 6% over the year.

Mothercare said that gross margin was in line with expectations but that it would come under further pressure this year because of the weakness of sterling. However it said this would be partially offset by currency gains in its international business.

Mothercare chief executive Ben Gordon said: “This is another strong performance from the Mothercare group. International goes from strength to strength, with retail sales up 40%. We now have 1,014 stores in 51 countries worldwide.”

Gordon added: “The UK business has now delivered 15 consecutive quarters of like-for-like sales growth. UK sales have been boosted by robust performances from the Direct business and the Early Learning Centre inserts now in 84 Mothercare stores, and both brands have gained market share in the quarter. We continue to manage the business tightly to mitigate the effect of currency movements. The group remains debt free.”

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