LONDON Jan 8 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
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