Mothercare 'back on track', hires new CFO

Retailer posts £0.6m loss but international sales rise.
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Mothercare's UK like-for-like sales performance improved during the 28 weeks ending October 13th.

The retailer is now "on track", said Mothercare chairman Alan Parker.

The chain's sales decline reduced to -3.4 per cent, with UK retail sales down 8.6 per cent and international retail sales up 10.8 per cent.

Group underlying loss before tax reduced to £0.6 million for H1 2012, an improvement on the loss of £4.4 million made during the same period last year.

Net debt stands at £29.8 million, 'following tight control of working capital and cash'.

"Work on the Transformation and Growth plan is progressing well, with store portfolio restructuring on track, new store format launched, management team restructured and strengthened, website relaunched, improved value proposition, new ranges across all three business segments and improved focus on customer service," read a statement.

The news comes as Mothercare hires Matt Smith as its new CFO and executive director. Smith is currently finance director at Argos and will join Mothercare at a later date.

Alan Parker, Chairman of Mothercare, said: "We have made good progress over the last six months in implementing the cost and efficiency measures of our three-year Transformation & Growth plan for Mothercare. These are early days and while there is much still to do, I remain confident that we are on track."

Simon Calver, Chief Executive of Mothercare, added: "Our results show early signs of progress despite the challenging trading conditions in the UK and the Eurozone.

"I am also delighted that Matt Smith is joining Mothercare as its Chief Financial Officer. Matt's experience working for a multi-billion pound UK retailer, and his understanding of multichannel development will provide the company with the financial and commercial expertise that it requires to deliver our Transformation and Growth plan, and to grow the business both in the UK and internationally."

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