Mothercare UK sales return to growth

Mothercare, the mother, baby and toddler products retailer, said UK like-for-like (LFL) sales have returned to underlying growth while international progress slowed a touch.

Mothercare, the mother, baby and toddler products retailer, said UK like-for-like (LFL) sales have returned to underlying growth while international progress slowed a touch.

UK LFL sales rose 0.3% for the 13 weeks to October 13th compared to a 3.4% decline in the first quarter. Total UK sales fell 8.3% following the closure of 31 stores nationwide.

Direct in Home returned to growth, up 11% for the second quarter after 0.9% growth during the first quarter.

The group, which has been struggling against a weak retail environment and online competition, said second quarter international retail sales rose 10.8%, down slightly from 11% in the first quarter after adverse currency movements.

"Asia Pacific and the Middle East & Africa continue to perform strongly and at the top end of our expectations while Europe remains weaker, particularly across our Eurozone markets," Mothercare said in a statement.

Chief Executive Simon Calver said the group's strategy outlined in May this year is starting to have a beneficial impact on like-for-like sales, which along with its online business have returned to growth.

"International continues to grow despite difficult trading conditions in the Eurozone and adverse currency movements. We recognise that our most important quarter, which includes Christmas, is still ahead of us. We are confident about delivering against the targets we set out in our three-year plan," he said.

CJ

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