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International success continues, but total UK sales still down 7.5 per cent.

Mothercare group returns to half year profit

Mother and baby specialist Mothercare has reported it has returned to half year profit, as it revealed its interim results for the 28-week period to October 12th.

Underlying profit before tax stood at £2.0 million – the first half year underlying profit since 2010/11 for the retailer.

Worldwide network sales were up 4.4 per cent to £637.7 million, while total international sales were up 13.0 per cent. Total UK sales, however, declined by 7.5 per cent.

However, UK like for like sales rose slightly (1.4 per cent) and underlying UK losses reduced by £2.0 million to £14.9 million.

The reshaping of the UK business has seen the closure of an additional 18 loss making stores and refits in some key outlets.

Mothercare also reported that international space was up 11.9 per cent, with 1,156 stores in 59 countries. It has also seen a growth in Direct sales, with click and colelct now in all stores in advance of peak trading.

Further product innovation was also highlighted, with 30 per cent newness in its toy range for Christmas.

"International has continued to see double digit growth and the UK has seen losses reduced," said Alan Parker, Mothercare chairman. "Our geographic diversification has supported these results amid some challenging trading conditions. The business is moving to a firmer footing."

Simon Calver, Mothercare chief executive, added: "We are planning for consumer spending to remain subdued in the UK during the second half of the year. We have made progress with our transformation and growth plan, but there is more to do.

"We continue to strengthen our position, becoming the world’s leading mother and baby specialist."

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