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Mamas & Papas returns to profit

Mamas & Papas has reported a record Christmas and revealed it returned to profitability in the financial year ended March 29 2015.

The nursery and maternity specialist, which gained new owners private equity firm BlueGem Capital in July 2014 and entered into a company voluntary arrangement in September that year, said the turnaround in its UK retail operations is gathering pace.

Like-for-like sales in the six weeks to January 3, 2016 increased 18% to £12m and December 27 was the company’s best ever trading day in its ongoing stores.

It comes as the Huddersfield-based company reported an operating profit of £91,000 before one-off costs for the year ended March 29, compared to a loss of £5.7m in 2014. Sales were broadly flat at £137.6m, down slightly from £137.7m in 2014, according to accounts filed at Companies House today.

UK turnover increased £3.3m to £107.8m, of which £88.6m related to retail sales and the rest to wholesale. Export sales fell £3.3m to £29.8m.

The company operates in 59 countries and has 34 stores in the UK. Mamas & Papas shed 207 jobs in the last year, ending the period with a headcount of 1,245.

Exceptional redundancy costs were £1.4m and the wage bill fell by £2.7m to £25.5m in the year.

Executive chairman Derek Lovelock said: “Our strong performance this Christmas underlines the strength of the turnaround at Mamas & Papas.

“The first phase of the strategic plan, which included a fundamental restructure of the business, was completed at pace.”

He added: “Like the rest of the business, the UK retail estate is now trading well, outperforming business plan expectations and delivering robust like-for-like sales growth. We expect growth in both revenue and profit to be maintained.”

The company said it has established a new sourcing strategy for clothing, which “has enabled us to maintain our premium quality position while passing on lower prices to our customers”. No further details on the new sourcing strategy have been given.

Mamas & Papas plans to open a new flagship store at Westfield London and will launch a new ecommerce platform later this year.


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