Mothercare plc, the leading international mother and baby retailer issued a update on Q2 trading. The update covers the 13-week and 28-week periods to 12 October 2013.
Key messages for Q2
- Worldwide network sales up 3.9% and group reported sales down 0.5%
- International space up 11.9% year-on-year with 2.5m sq.ft. of retail space
- International retail sales up 12.6% in constant currency and reported retail sales up 12.4% with all four regions delivering positive growth
- Against strong comparatives, UK like-for-like sales down 1.9% with Direct in Home up 8.3%, taking year to date Direct in Home growth to 11.6%
- In line with our plan, UK space reduced by 6.0% year-on-year as a further five loss making stores closed during the quarter
- The UK market remains very promotional, particularly in Home and Travel, and we have continued to focus on cash margin
Simon Calver, Chief Executive of Mothercare plc, said:
"We have delivered another quarter of growth in worldwide network sales. We now operate from 1,393 stores across 60 markets. As planned, during the quarter we closed a further five loss making stores in the UK, and year-on-year increased space by 11.9% across our International markets.
"We continue to see double-digit growth in International retail sales, benefitting from the strength and diversified nature of our International business.
"UK Direct delivered another quarter of growth and we expect further multi-channel progress as we continue to improve our service for customers with next day click-and-collect extended to all UK Early Learning Centre stores in time for Christmas trading.
"In line with the Transformation and Growth plan, we are continuing to make fundamental improvements to our business in the UK, which will allow us to compete effectively in a changing marketplace.
"However, the UK market in Home and Travel remained highly promotional and Autumn/Winter Clothing faced the same warm weather challenges as the rest of the sector but is gaining market share. Whilst this has resulted in a margin environment that is more challenging than expected, we continue to focus on profitable sales and cash margin."