Business World

Sunday 15 September 2019

Mothercare UK warns on financial performance remaining 'volatile' as UK sales crash

Photo credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire...A
Photo credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire...A
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Baby retailer Mothercare UK has warned that its financial performance will remain "volatile" as it reported a crash in UK sales.

The firm posted an 11.1pc decline in UK like for like sales in the six months to October 6, while total sales fell 14.3pc to £196.2m (€220m).

Mothercare said the poor showing reflects "wider market uncertainty and negative brand coverage" relating to the group's restructuring programme.

In Ireland a separate business has the right to trade under the Mothercare brand.

Mothercare Ireland is a separately owned and family-run business, started by David Ward in 1992 and is now run by his two sons, Jonathan and Ben, and daughter Laura.

The Irish business exited an examinership in October 2015 that resulted in three stores being closed at Blackrock and Jervis Street in Dublin and Cruises Street in Limerick and significant rental reductions being achieved. Earlier this year, the directors of the Irish business said it had achieved a significant turnaround last year.

Meanwhile, across the water and Mothercare UK posted a pre-tax loss of £14.4m in the six month period, down slightly from £16.8m last year.

Total group revenue, including international, was down 13.1pc to £295m.

Boss Mark Newton-Jones said: "The UK retail environment, however, remains very challenging and given the ongoing uncertainty with consumer confidence, alongside the short-term impacts of our operational changes and restructuring programme, we expect performance in the remainder of our financial year to remain volatile."

(Additional reporting PA)

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