LONDON, April 11 British baby and maternity
products retailer Mothercare posted a 4.8 percent fall
in fourth quarter total group sales,
as recent improvements to its British arm take time to filter
The group, which has some 1,300 stores worldwide including
255 in the UK, said on Thursday British like-for-like sales were
flat in 11 weeks to March 30, compared to an 8.2 percent fall in
the same period a year ago and a fall of 5.9 percent in the
third quarter. [ID: nL5E8NJAQ7]
The fall in total sales reflects a higher levels of
discounting and the ongoing closure of loss-making stores in
Overseas retail sales rose 15.5 percent, despite some
weakness in Europe.
As part of new chief executive Simon Calver's turnaround
strategy the group has closed 56 UK stores in the year to the
end of March, ahead of its target of 50 closures.
Mothercare is improving its stores and delivery services as
well as slashing prices in a bid to wrestle back cash strapped
customers from supermarkets and online retailers.
It said total group sales for the year were down 6 percent
but that its annual underlying profit before tax would be in
line with market expectations.
Shares in the firm, which have doubled in the last year,
closed at 292 pence on Wednesday, valuing the business at 260