Mothercare chief executive Simon Calver has stepped down after less than two years in the role.

Calver, who joined the mother, baby and children's goods retailer in April 2012, will leave the company at the end of March.

While the search is underway for a new chief executive, the group's executive management will remain responsible for the day-to-day running of the business and will report directly to chairman Alan Parker.

Turnaround efforts at Mothercare started to pay off towards the end of last year, after the UK retailer swung to its first half-year underlying profit since 2010/11.

However, just last month shares in the business slumped by nearly 30% after the retailer issued a profit warning on depressed Christmas trading.

Mothercare said it remains "confident" in its underlying strength and expects results for the year ending March 2014 to be "in line with current market forecasts".

"The strategy remains to restore profitability in the UK business to complement the strong and growing international operations," a statement noted. 

Commenting on the departure, Parker said the company has made "progress" in implementing its transformation and growth plan.

"In particular, Simon Calver's e-commerce expertise has allowed Mothercare to accelerate its development as a multi-channel retailer in the UK," he added.