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Mothercare 12 week sales till Dec 2017 decline 7.2%
Jan '18
Courtesy: Mothercare
Courtesy: Mothercare
Mothercare plc, the leading global retailer for parents and young children, has recorded 7.2 per cent decline in the UK like-for-like sales for 12 weeks to December 30, 2017. Its online sales also fell 6.9 per cent. It was due to lower footfall and spend, both in stores and online, following the continuation of consumer trends flagged in half year results.

The company's international retail sales were down 3.0 per cent in constant currency and down 6.8 per cent in actual currency, but key markets showed signs of improvement towards the end of the period. While, the international online sales grew at 8.5 per cent in constant currency and 7.4 per cent in actual currency.

"As we signaled in November, there has been a softening in the UK market with lower footfall and website traffic resulting in lower spend in both stores and online. This trend has continued, resulting in our UK like-for-like of (7.2) per cent in the 12 weeks to December 30. The international trade was challenging in the quarter overall, but we have seen a return to moderate growth in the Middle East over the last seven weeks. Whilst this is positive news, it is too early to say whether or not this is the beginning of a more sustained up-turn in sales across the region. In Russia, our largest international country by turnover, we also saw a return to growth as the weather became colder, leading to improved trading," Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive officer of Mothercare plc, said. 

In line with its previous announcements and as part of its transformation strategy, the company has decided to reduce its central cost base. The planned financial benefits of this will materialise in the next financial year. The company plans to continue to adopt a disciplined approach to cash management with a particular focus on controlling stock levels, together with stringent controls over capital expenditure.

"Going forward, we are not anticipating any improvement in the short-term market conditions for the UK and on this basis the adjusted group profit for the year is likely to be in the range of £1-5m. Whilst the performance of the business has been challenging in the last few months, we remain singularly focussed on transforming Mothercare to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children," concluded Jones. (RR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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