Mothercare is to pull out of selling clothing for older children, The Times reported today.

Chris Martin, chief executive, said that from next Autumn, the company would focus on clothes for babies and children up to age five, including premium brands. Mothercare's clothing sales have been poor for three years and the decision to narrow the range is part of Mr Martin's attempt to revive the fortunes of the company, demerged from Bhs earlier this year.

The recovery programme will also focus on developing the big Mothercare World stores, and introducing classes and seminars for new parents. The number of big stores will be increased from 62 to 100, at the rate of up to 15 a year. The company said it would spend £20m a year over the next two to three years to step up the expansion of the format.

The company said it would roll out its Mothercare World outlets from the current 62 sites to "at least 100" as part of an ongoing recovery programme.

However, the recovery drive has suffered a setback. Comparable sales growth over the past five weeks slowed to 1.6 per cent, from 2.2 per cent in the first half, as the recent flooding forced 11 stores to suspend trading. First-half group sales on an ongoing basis - 82 underperforming stores have been closed - improved by 4.7 per cent to £212m. Pre-tax profits were £1.8m, against a £3.3m loss last time. There is no interim dividend.