Business World

Sunday 21 January 2018

Mothercare returns to half-year profit

Retail chain Mothercare will create 400 new jobs in the UK
Retail chain Mothercare will create 400 new jobs in the UK

Mother and baby products retailer Mothercare said reduced losses in its home market and growing international sales helped the group to its first half-year underlying profit since 2010/11.

Mothercare, which operates in 60 countries, said underlying pretax profit for the 28 weeks to October 12 was £2m, up from a loss of 1.8 million a year ago.

In the UK, where the firm is in the middle of three-year turnaround plan to revitalise a loss-making business hit hard by fierce competition from supermarkets and online rivals, underlying losses fell 12pc to £14.9m.

Underlying international profits rose 13.5pc to £25.2m, helped by a net 87 stores opening in the period.

Sales at British stores open over a year fell 1.4pc in the period, improving from a 3.4pc fall last year, and were down 7.5pc in total due to having less stores open.

Chief executive Simon Calver, who is closing unprofitable stores and investing in products and delivery to improve fortunes in the UK, said he expected consumer spending in Britain to remain subdued in the second half of the year.

"We continue to target a return to profit in the UK and the reduced UK operating loss this half year is a step in the right direction," he added.

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