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Mothercare narrows losses in ‘extraordinarily challenging’ year

The Mothercare group has announced falling revenues for the 28 weeks to October 2019, but narrowed losses following the business’s administration.

Worldwide sales fell 8.4% for the group to £452.3m, and total group revenue dropped 13.2% to £234.1m compared to the same period last year.

Group adjusted loss before taxation narrowed considerably, up 44.8% to a loss of £5.8m.

The results cover the period before Mothercare’s 4 November announcement that it would be placing the UK arm of the business into administration.

As part of the process, the UK arm of the business now operates as a subsidiary of the overall group – a move which the business described as transforming it into a “capital light, cash generative and profitable” business.

Like for like UK sales for Mothercare fell by 2.1% for the period, and total sales dropped by 19% to £131.8m. International sales fell 1.2% to £316.4m. It fell into administration a month after this period.

Commenting on the results, CEO Mark Newton Jones called the year an “extraordinarily challenging period in Mothercare’s 58-year history”.

“It was simply not financially viable to maintain the UK store estate and supporting infrastructure any longer without putting the whole Mothercare Group at risk,” he said. “Whilst this was a very difficult decision and one we didn’t take lightly, it completes the transformation of our group into a capital light, cash generative and profitable business and, importantly, protects all of the pensioners of the Group.”

He continued: “We are confident in the future of the Mothercare brand. We believe that, without the financial and management burden of running a UK retail operation, we can singularly focus Mothercare on its global international franchise.”

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