News Column

Retail Overseas sales bring big boost for Mothercare

May 23, 2014

Shares in Mothercare soared nearly 18% after the maternity and childrenswear specialist revealed a 61% jump in underlying profits and confirmed it had agreed new terms with its bankers.

The retailer said yesterday trading had improved in the fourth quarter of its financial year as it closed loss-making stores and made its maternity clothing more fashionable.

Sales for the year to 29 March rose 0.5%, as a 6.4% rise in international sales to pounds 729.2m helped offset a 7.5% slump in UK sales. Underlying pretax profits rose to pounds 9.5m despite a pounds 21.5m loss in the UK.

There was relief as the retailer confirmed that it had persuaded its bankers to give it more breathing space to complete its turnaround plan, with improved terms and a pounds 10m increase in its loan facility. The company said it had ended the year with debts of pounds 46.5m.

Shares in Mothercare have slumped by more than 50% in the past year as the company endured a dismal Christmas and the resignation of its chief executive, Simon Calver.

Alan Parker, chairman, admitted there was a lot more to do. But he added: "We are determined to achieve our goal of returning the UK to profitability, growing our international business and building shareholder value over the long term." Sarah Butler

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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