• FY losses narrow to GBP13.1m
  • UK like-for-like sales up 2%
  • UK net loss of GBP18m
Mothercares once struggling UK business reported like-for-like sales growth

Mothercare's once struggling UK business reported like-for-like sales growth

UK mother, baby and children's goods retailer Mothercare said it has made progress against all six strategic pillars set out in its turnaround plan as it revealed lower pre-tax losses for the year.

Pre-tax losses narrowed to GBP13.1m (US$20.5m) in the year ended 28 March from GBP26.3m in the year ago period. Shares rose 4.6% on the news yesterday (21 May) to 235.2 pence.

Mothercare's once struggling UK business reported like-for-like sales growth of 2%, representing its fourth consecutive quarter of growth, with gross margin said to have stabilised.

The division, however, made a net loss of GBP18m against losses of GBP21.5m in the prior year as the group continued to close underperforming stores.

International like-for-like sales were up 5.6% with underlying profit edging up 1% to GBP45.9m. International now accounts for 62% of worldwide sales (UK and international), which were up 1% to GBP1.2bn.

In the past year, Mothercare has recruited a new CEO and CFO, entered into new financing arrangements with its banks, fended off an unwelcome takeover approach and created a new strategy to modernise and reinvigorate the brand.

"We are making good progress against all six pillars of our strategy and we will continue to build from this platform in the year ahead," said CEO Mark Newton-Jones. "There is still much to do and trading conditions may remain challenging, but we will stay singularly focused on our vision of being the leading global retailer for parents and young children."