Mothercare warns on full-year profit

LONDON Wed Jan 8, 2014 2:21am EST

LONDON Jan 8 (Reuters) - British mother and baby products retailer Mothercare warned that annual profit would be below current market forecasts, hit by Christmas discounting in Britain, plus weak economic conditions and currency deflation overseas.

Mothercare, which operates in 60 countries, said on Wednesday that group sales fell 6.1 percent in the 12 week period to Jan. 4 compared to the same period the year before.

Underlying sales in its British business, where it is in the middle of a turnaround plan, were 4 percent lower, the company added, blaming the promotional nature of the festive period and lower seasonal footfall.

"As a result of lower UK sales and margin and the international currency impact, full year profits are likely to be below the current range of market expectations," chief executive Simon Calver said in a statement.

Analysts had expected the company to post pre-tax profit of 16 million pounds ($26.24 million), according to a Thomson Reuters consensus forecast. ($1 = 0.6098 British pounds

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