Nursery Today magazine

Mothercare plc release Q4 trading statement

Transformation and growth plan progressing well

Mothercare plc announces updates on Q4 trading covering the 11-week and 52-week periods to 30 March 2013.

Simon Calver, Chief Executive of Mothercare plc, said: "Mothercare has continued to make progress both in the UK and across its International businesses. In the UK we closed 56 loss-making stores, which is ahead of our plan for the year and is helping us become more efficient. UK like-for-like sales, supported by Direct, were flat for the quarter. Our Direct business to customers' homes was up 18.2% for the quarter as our customers recognised the benefits of our new internet platform, improving delivery proposition and strong promotional offers. We continue to be focused on delivering cash margin. International delivered double-digit growth despite the challenges of the Eurozone and we remain excited about the growth potential for all our International regions.

We are just 12 months into our three-year Transformation and Growth plan and while we still have much to do, our business is already on a firmer footing. Matt Smith joined us as Chief Financial Officer two weeks ago and I am pleased to say that our Executive team is now complete. So despite our continuing caution with regards to the outlook for consumer spending in the UK and the Eurozone, we can look ahead to the new year with confidence."

Highlights for Q4:

- UK store closures ahead of plan, with 56 loss-making stores closed during the year
- UK like-for-like sales supported by strong double-digit growth from Direct in Home
- Continued focus on cash gross margin
- Double-digit International growth, despite continuing Eurozone weakness
- New innovative product launches during the year
- Underlying profit before tax for FY2013 is in line with market expectations

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