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Online boosts Mothercare’s UK sales

Mothercare has revealed UK like-for-like sales increased by 4.2% for the 13 weeks to January 9, due to strong online growth of 11.8%.

Total UK sales dropped 0.1% as improved online and store performance made up for a 6.1% drop in floor space year-on-year.

During the period the business refurbished 41 shops and ended the quarter with 172 stores.

Mothercare said gross margin was preserved despite the unseasonably warm weather, which led to higher stock and a deeper end-of-season sale.

International retail sales were down 1.3% in constant currency and down 9.5% in actual currency, reflecting currency headwinds.

Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive said: “Overall Group performance remains in line with market expectations, with our UK performance further improving and International continuing to be challenging. In the UK we have delivered healthy like-for-like sale growth, helped by a strong online performance. We maintained our full price approach and entered the end-of-season sale after peak trading, albeit with higher stock levels as a result of the unseasonably warmer weather. Margins have been preserved and remain within our guidance for the full year.”

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


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