Nursery Today magazine

Mothercare share results for 52 week period

Mothercare plc, the leading international mother and baby specialist, today announces Preliminary results for the 52-week period to 29 March 2014

The financial highlights for 2013/14 include: 

• Worldwide network sales3 up 0.5%1 to £1,191.5 million with total International sales up 6.4%1 despite significant currency headwinds and total UK sales down 7.5% as further loss-making stores were closed
• International like-for-like sales3 up 2.5%1; UK like-for-like sales3 down 1.9%, on an improving trend after a 3.6% decline last year
• Underlying profit before tax5 of £9.5 million compared to £5.9 million last year with underlying International profits5 up 7.6% to £45.3 million and underlying UK losses5 slightly lower at £21.5 million
• Group loss before tax and after exceptional and non-underlying items of £26.3 million, which  includes a non-underlying non-cash foreign currency charge of £14.9 million
• Net debt of £46.5 million, in line with previous guidance. Further covenant headroom and facilities put in place in May 2014
Operating highlights
• International space up 13.1%1 and sales up 9.3% in constant currency with 1,221 stores in 59 countries
• Reshaping of the UK business continues with the closure of an additional net 35 loss-making stores and refits in some key stores
• Multi-channel growth with UK Direct sales now 29% of total UK sales and a third of online orders collected in store
• In the UK, Mobile is growing rapidly and now accounts for 35% of UK online traffic
• Ten International websites in place

Alan Parker, Chairman of Mothercare plc, said: "After an encouraging set of Interim results, Q3 trading over peak was a disappointment. We saw a recovery in the Q4 trading performance and have delivered full-year results in line with market expectations set in January 2014. This momentum has been maintained into this quarter, and we look forward to sustaining this improvement in the new financial year.

"Despite the increasing effect of currency devaluation on reported numbers, we have seen good growth in International, both in retail sales and profits with all four regions contributing strongly. In conjunction with our franchise partners, we have good visibility of future plans, which continue to show double-digit space growth.

"In the UK, we have continued to close loss-making stores and operate a leaner business. The market remains competitive and our teams are working hard to deliver an improved product range that offers even better value for money for our customers and an improved multi-channel service.

"Underlying group profits5 are up on last year, but there is a lot more to do. The CEO search is progressing well. We are determined to achieve our goal of returning the UK to profitability, growing our International business and building shareholder value over the long-term."

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