Mothercare, which has been struggling in recent years, has now reported a generous rise in full-year pre-tax profits.
This last year marks one of “major change” for the Mother and baby specialist, having recruited a new CEO as well as a CFO. Mark Newton-Jones, the new Chief Exec, launched a turnaround plan in 2014, entering into new financing arrangements with banks, seeing off am “unwelcome takeover approach” from US retailer Destination Maternity and successfully completing a rights issue.
Mothercare suffered when previous Chief Executive Simon Calver left but Newton-Jones was drafted in to fix the business, bringing with him 10 years of online experience from e-tailer.
“I am confident that we now have the right leadership and plans to achieve our clear potential of being a world leading global retailer,” said Chairman Alan Parker.
It’s been tough for Mothercare over the last five years, facing competition from supermarkets and discounters such as Primark. The babycare retailer was slow to utilise ecommerce but thanks to Newton-Jones, online sales for the year were up 18%, accounting for 30% of total UK sales.
The British company closed a further 31 loss-making stores, introduced more phased launches of product in Clothing & footwear, Home & travel and Toys and stabilised margins.
The retailer also expanded further internationally, with space up 9% in 60 countries, entering South Korea for the first time with an initial four stores.