Mothercare has reported strong first half results, with UK like-for-like sales rising 3.8%. It continues into the full year with confidence from the “good progress” made so far.
The maternity and childrenswear retailer announced that in the 28 weeks to 10 October it suffered an underlying loss of £6.1m in the UK, compared to a £13.5m loss in the same period last year.
The group has been closing its badly-performing stores and restructuring others, in addition to broadening its online offerings. Its online UK sales saw an increase of 22.1%, proving its ecommerce improvements had paid off. The retailer also introduced iPads into stores as part of its recent digital strategy to modernise the brand.
"We are a year into our turnaround; making good progress against each of our strategic pillars and as a result underlying profits for the first half have more than doubled" said Mark Newton-Jones, Chief Executive of Mothercare.
"The UK is annualising against our new trading approach and is performing well; but there is still more work to do."
Despite being on track to meet full year expectations, total group sales across the UK fell by 6.1% to £349.9m, though underlying group profit before tax rose 112% to £7m.
"We continue to lay the foundations for future growth in our international business. Despite increased economic and currency headwinds in a number of our markets, impacting both sales and profits, we and our franchise partners remain confident in the business model and together continued to grow space. We expect the challenging environment to continue into the second half" Newton-Jones added.
"Overall, expectations for the full year outturn are unchanged. Our vision remains clear: to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children."