Nursery Today magazine

First profit in five years for Mothercare

Underlying profits up 51% as UK turnaround continues for nursery and toy retailer

Mothercare has posted a full-year profit for the first time in five years, making a pre-tax profit of £9.7m. The positive result follows a loss last year of £13.1m. 
Sales at UK stores open for longer than a year rose 3.6 per cent helping UK sales climb 0.3 per cent to £459.7m. Group underlying profit before tax soared 51 per cent to £19.6m. 
However, despite the improvement, Mothercare’s UK business still reported an underlying loss of £6.4m compared with a deficit of £18m the previous year.
Mark Newton-Jones, Chief Executive of Mothercare plc, said: “I'm pleased to report that two years into our turnaround strategy we have recorded a 51% growth in underlying profit before tax and the delivery of our first statutory profit in five years.”
“The results highlight the significant progress we are making towards returning the UK to profitability. Improvements to our customer offer, both in store and online, and the look and feel of the store estate are driving like-for-like sales growth for a second consecutive year. Nearly 40% of the store estate is now in the new and much improved format and the feedback from customers continues to be positive. This sales growth is not at the expense of gross margins which have also returned to growth. There is still much to do, but we are encouraged by our maintained trajectory towards profitability in the UK.”
“Conditions for our International business remain challenging. The issues are primarily at a macro level, with economic and currency headwinds persisting. Whilst we recognise these pressures, we believe that we can also make some improvements in how we operate. We are exiting underperforming stores whilst continuing to grow space where there is potential for long term growth. We are also taking the lessons learned from our success in the UK and exporting them to our International markets. This is strengthening our International operations and improving the management of our brand globally.”
“Our vision remains clear: to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children."


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