• FY underlying pre-tax profit jumps 61%
  • Worldwide network sales climb 0.5%
  • UK sales down 7.5%
Mothercares share price jumped 18.4% this morning

Mothercare's share price jumped 18.4% this morning

Mothercare has seen its share price jump after a 61% jump in annual profits, leaving one analyst optimistic the baby and children's goods retailer will begin to show further improvement in the coming months.

The UK company today (22 May) said group underlying profit before tax reached GBP9.5m (US$16m) for the 52 weeks to 29 March, compared to GBP5.9m in the same period last year.

Worldwide network sales improved 0.5% to GBP1.19bn. International sales were up 6.4% despite significant currency headwinds, while UK sales declined 7.5% as further loss-making stores were closed. On a like-for-like basis, international sales rose 2.5%, while the UK posted a 1.9% drop.

Chairman Alan Parker said: "After an encouraging set of interim results, third-quarter trading over peak was a disappointment.

"We saw a recovery in the fourth quarter trading performance and have delivered full-year results in line with market expectations set in January 2014."

He added that following the departure of Simon Calver in March, the CEO search is "progressing well".

"We are determined to achieve our goal of returning the UK to profitability, growing our international business and building shareholder value over the long-term."

Conlumino analyst Greg Bromley noted: "Mothercare will be pleased it is finally at the end of an extremely challenging year."

He also emphasised that while the retailer will face major challenges to turn around its ailing UK business in the coming months, progress at its international arm must continue.

"Going forward, we are optimistic that Mothercare will begin to show some improvement. Its current strategy, combining a focus on cost control, improvement in price and product, and an enhanced multichannel offer is sensible and sustainable, and the retailer should begin to feel the effects of these changes in the months to come."

The company's share price jumped 18.4% to GBP164.25 pence at 11:21 BST this morning.