Mothercare half-year sales fall during 'extraordinarily challenging period'

Mothercare has reported falling sales for the first-half of the year as the British retailer continues to face an “extraordinarily challenging period”.

Loss before tax at the maternity and babywear specialist rose to 21.2 million pounds in the six months to the end of October, up from 18.5 million pounds in the same period last year, as net debt grew to 24.5 million pounds.

Group adjusted loss before tax narrowed to 5.8 million pounds from 10.5 million.

Worldwide sales for the group fell 8.4 percent to 452.3 million pounds as total group revenue dropped 13.2 percent to 234.1 million pounds. Like-for-like international sales dropped by 5.7 percent, while like-for-like UK sales were down 2 percent.

These latest figures come after Mothercare’s UK business fell into administration in November.

Mark Newton-Jones, CEO of Mothercare plc, said in a statement: “This has been an extraordinarily challenging period in Mothercare’s 58-year history, particularly for our committed, hard-working colleagues who have worked tirelessly to sustain our UK retail operation. It was simply not financially viable to maintain the UK store estate and supporting infrastructure any longer without putting the whole Mothercare Group at risk.

“Whilst this was a very difficult decision and one we didn’t take lightly, it completes the transformation of our group into a capital light, cash generative and profitable business and, importantly, protects all of the pensioners of the group.

“We are confident in the future of the Mothercare brand. We believe that, without the financial and management burden of running a UK retail operation, we can singularly focus Mothercare on its global international franchise. This opportunity for this business is best demonstrated by the fact that there are 130 million babies born every year across the world, compared to 700,000 in the UK‎, and the Group will now look to drive value for shareholders by harnessing that potential.”

The company also announced that non-executive director Nick Wharton is stepping down and will be replaced by Brian Small after a suitable handover period.

Photo credit: Mothercare UK, Facebook

 

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