• H1 underlying pre-tax profit jumps 112.1% 
  • Group sales rise 6.1% to GBP349.9m
  • UK losses halve to GBP6.1m
Mothercare halved its losses in the UK

Mothercare halved its losses in the UK

Mothercare's turnaround efforts in the UK are bearing fruit after the mother, baby and children's goods retailer cut its first-half losses in the country, helping overall group profit to more than double.

Group underlying pre tax profit reached GBP7m (US$11m) for the 28 weeks to 10 October, compared to GBP3.3m in the same period a year ago. 

On a reported basis, pre-tax profit rose 5.4% to GBP5.8m from GBP5.5m. 

Total group sales increased 6.1% to GBP349.9m from GBP372.7m last year. 

The UK company said it has made strong progress in the UK, with margins up 76 basis points, thanks to improved product architecture, better buying and a focus on full price retailing. 

Online sales were up 22% and like-for-like sales grew 3.8%, while UK losses halved to GBP6.1m from GBP13.5m. Total UK sales climbed 0.4% to GBP236.6m from GBP235.6m in the prior year. 

However, international remained challenging, with economic and currency headwinds pushing total sales down 5.2% to GBP376.7m from GBP397.5m a year ago. The division's underlying profit declined 14.2% to GBP21.7m from GBP25.3m. 

"We are a year into our turnaround; making good progress against each of our strategic pillars and as a result underlying profits for the first half have more than doubled," said chief executive Mark Newton-Jones. 

He added: "The UK is annualising against our new trading approach and is performing well; but there is still more work to do."