Mothercare’s UK sales crash as restructure yet to bear fruit

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Mothercare’s revenues have crashed by over 13 per cent in the last six months as its restructuring programme is yet to revive fortunes.

In the six months to October 6, the embattled maternity retailer saw total group revenues, including international sales, drop 13.1 per cent to £295 million.

It was a similar story on home turf, with Mothercare’s total UK sales dropping 14.3 per cent to £196.2 million, while like-for-like sales dropped 11 per cent.

This was split between a 13.8 per cent drop in UK retail store sales, and a 7.8 per cent drop in online sales.

Pre-tax losses narrowed slightly from £16.8 million to £14.4 million.

It has attributed the dwindling sales to “wider market uncertainty” and factors brought on by its ongoing restructure, like “negative brand coverage” and restrictions on stock availability.

“Our international business is showing signs of recovery after a difficult few years, and some core markets, including Russia, China and Indonesia, have moved into growth,” chief executive 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.”

Earlier this year Mothercare approved plans to push forward a CVA, which is due to see 60 stores close and potentially lead to a total of 900 job losses.

This will leave it with a total estate of 77 stores when the process is completed next June, 19 of which will have their rent prices significantly reduced.

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