Mothercare quarterly like-for-likes dip 8.8%

// Mothercare like-for-like sales down 8.8% in its fourth quarter
// It warned that markets will remain challenging
// Total UK sales down 14.5%

Mothercare has reported a decline in its fourth quarter like-for-like sales as it warned that markets will remain “challenging”.

In the 12 weeks to March 30, UK like-for-likes dropped 8.8 per cent.

Over the past year, comparative sales fell 10.8 per cent while total sales fell 14.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, international sales declined by 4.9 per cent in constant currency, or 4.5 per cent in actual currencies.

The British retailer revealed that its declining sales were thanks to its continued heavy discounting from shop closures, adding that clearance sales had “significantly” hit online sales.

Total UK sales plunged 14.5 per cent in the quarter after Mothercare closed 40 stores within the past three months.

Last month the retailer sold the Early Learning Centre to The Entertainer for £13.5 million in March and said it was on track to deliver at least £19 million cost savings each year.

“We have continued to make significant progress in our final quarter as we continue our strategic transformation to deliver a sustainable and profitable future for Mothercare,” chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said.

“The disruption we have seen from both the organisational changes and the UK store closures is now largely behind us.

“We expect a continued impact on our business given the volume of clearance stock we have sold in recent months. Against this background, we remain on track to deliver on our full-year expectations.”

“Looking ahead, we expect market conditions in the UK and in some international markets to remain challenging.”

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