LONDON Oct 17 British mother and baby products
retailer Mothercare PLC said its total group sales fell
0.5 percent in its second quarter, year-on-year, pulled down by
its performance in its home market.
The company, however, continued to post double-digit growth
in its international business, with overseas retail sales in
constant currency up 12.6 percent.
In Britain, where it reduced selling space by 6 percent
year-on-year in the quarter, like-for-like sales fell 1.9
percent, it said on Thursday. That was better than analysts had
expected, with Peel Hunt having forecast a 3 percent decline.
Mothercare, which does 60 percent of its business outside
Britain, has embarked on a cost-cutting programme to close
unprofitable stores, largely in Europe, while opening new
franchises in merging markets, especially in China.
"As planned, during the quarter we closed a further five
loss-making stores in the UK, and year-on-year increased space
by 11.9 percent across our international markets," Chief
Executive Simon Calver said.
Shares in the company were trading down 3.8 percent at 378
pence at 0716 GMT, giving the group a market capitalisation of
335 million pounds.