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Mothercare online sales return to growth in UK

However UK like for like sales decline 2.8% for 12-week period to March 24.

Online sales were a bright spot in Mothercare’s latest trading update, with the baby and toddler retailer reporting growth in the area.

Mothercare reported online sales growth of 2.1%, with website sales growth of 7.2% for the 12-week period to March 24.

Notably, online sales within the period represented 49% of UK sales, bringing FY to 43%.

However, UK like for like sales declines 2.8% impacted by reduced store consumer footfall.

There was also continued progress with the store rationalisation programme, leading to total UK sales 5.6% lower than last year.

Internationally, retail sales were 3.7% lower in constant currency (-11.0% in actual). Russia was impacted by lower market footfall, although Middle East growth continued throughout the period.

David Wood, ceo of Mothercare, said that overall group performance was in line with previous guidance.

He commented: “The UK retail trading environment remained relatively muted in the quarter, with a continuing trend of lower footfall in stores, though there was an encouraging return to growth online.

“My immediate priority is to ensure Mothercare is put back on a sound financial footing and to improve its financial performance. We continue to make good progress in reducing the size of our UK store estate in response to changing consumer preferences and in reducing our central cost base, but our central focus must be customers and their experience, securing Mothercare’s reputation as the number one specialist for parents.”

David continued: “We remain in constructive dialogue with our financing partners with respect to our financing needs for FY19 and beyond, and we continue to explore additional sources of financing to support and maintain the momentum of our transformation programme.

“All of these discussions are on-going and further updates will be given as appropriate.”

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