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Mothercare H1FY15 pretax slips into black from red
Nov '14
For the 28 week period to October 1, 2014, UK based babycare retailer, Mothercare reported pretax profits as against a loss in the comparable first half of 2013-14.

Mothercare delivered reported profit before tax of £5.5 million in the first half of fiscal 2014-15, compared to loss of £11.0 million in the same period last year.

“We were able to book profits as a result of lower exceptional items and a credit from 'marking to market' foreign currency contracts,” Mothercare said.

The babycare retailer said its worldwide sales were down 0.7 per cent at £633.1 million in the first half of fiscal 2014-15 as against £637.7 million in the corresponding half of 2013-14.

As a result of the anticipated currency depreciation, international sales fell 0.5 per cent from the prior half-year period to £397.5 million.

Its international business now accounts for around 62 per cent of worldwide space and worldwide sales.

UK sales dipped higher at 1.2 per cent from the same period of 2013-14 to £235.6 million, which the retailer attributed to further planned closing of loss making stores.

Group sales, which reflect total UK sales and reported revenues from its international partner’s, were also down 1.0 percent at £372.7 million in the reporting quarter from £376.3 million.

Mothercare said space across all 61 UK and franchise partners' markets was up 6.0 per cent year-on-year at 4.5 million square feet across 1,506 stores.

“We grew our international footprint by 12.9 per cent year-on-year and reduced our UK footprint by 3.8 per cent,” it explained.

The retailer’s international partners now operate from 60 countries with 1,300 stores and 2.8 million square feet of space.

Mothercare ended the first half of fiscal year 2014-15 with £54.2 million of net debt, which is in line with its expectations.

Following the successful rights issue to raise £95 million net of fees, it paid down its fixed term loan of £40 million and the balance on the revolving credit facility.

As a result, the retailer now expects to have a net cash position of approximately £30 million at the fiscal year end.

CEO Mark Newton-Jones said, “While it is still early days, the results show some improvement. In the UK, we have made progress towards re-establishing ourselves as a full price retailer.”

"Trading conditions remain challenging, but we are making progress building the foundations for the future of the business both in the UK and across our International territories,” he added. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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