Mothercare has released its trading statement, covering the 11-week period to March 25th, 2017, revealing difficulties in its international business.
However, like for like sales in the UK were up by 4.5 per cent during the quarter driven by online sales growth of 13.6 per cent, which according to the company is ‘in line with market expectations’.
According to the firm, international retail sales were down 1.7 per cent in constant currency and up 15.4 per cent in actual currency, ‘reflecting the ongoing currency tailwinds’.
Mothercare is now trading in 21 countries with full year online sales spiking to 64 per cent in constant currency and 86 per cent in actual currency.
Despite opening 144 international stores, the firm closed 116 during the year, ending the quarter with 1,338 stores.
“Following a solid final quarter, our overall group performance remains broadly in line with market expectations for the year,” said Mark Newton-Jones, CEO of Mothercare plc.
"We have made further progress in the period, with the UK performing particularly well on a like-for like basis. Customers’ response to our spring/summer ranges has been positive, as has the feedback on the new website and our new store environment; over the past two years we have successfully refurbished 70 per cent of the store estate to our new, modern format.
“In our International business, we have seen strong sales in China, Indonesia and Russia supported by currency tailwinds, whilst the continuing economic conditions in the Middle East remain challenging. We continue to export our learnings from the UK and as a result, have launched ten new websites this year, bringing our total to 21 countries now trading online. We still see many opportunities in existing and new markets around the world that are open to us.
“We are firmly focused on our strategy to build our businesses both here in the UK and internationally and our vision remains clear: to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children.”