Mothercare international sales overtake UK

First half overseas retail sales exceed UK for the first time, as 800th international store opens.
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Mothercare has issued the financial results for its second quarter (13 weeks) and the first half (28 weeks) ended October 9th 2010.

For the second quarter, worldwide network sales were up by seven per cent and total group sales rose 4.7 per cent.

Total UK sales for the period were up 1.8 per cent, while international retail sales soared by 14.2 per cent. UK like-for-like sales were down 3.2 per cent (down 1.9 per cent inc. VAT). Direct in Home sales were up 18.2 per cent.

For the first half, worldwide network sales rose 7.5 per cent and total group sales were up 2.5 per cent.

Total UK sales for the first half of 2010 were down slightly by 0.5 per cent; like-for-like sales down 3.8 per cent (down 2.4 per cent inc. VAT).

International retail sales for the period rose by 17.3 per cent; like-for-like sales flat and Direct in Home sales were up 15.8 per cent.

Ben Gordon, chief executive commented: "We continue to see strong results from our global growth strategy. In the first half, overseas retail sales exceeded UK retail sales for the first time, and we now have 1,217 stores worldwide in 54 countries."

The retailer's international strategy is growing rapidly and it has now opened its 50th store in India and 800th store overseas.

Gordon continued: "We recently acquired a 25 per cent stake in our Australian franchisee, which will have 60 Mothercare and Early Learning Centre stores in three years through a combination of acquisition and organic growth. So far this year we have opened 112 new overseas stores, increasing retail space by 13 per cent. We expect to open at least 150 new overseas stores this year, 50 more than our previous estimate, increasing retail space by at least 20 per cent.

"In the UK, Direct again delivered double digit growth and our new Wholesale channel was boosted by the successful launch of Mini Club, our new clothing partnership with Boots, already trading in 370 Boots stores.

"The property restructure is progressing well with 20 smaller in town stores closed and 7 larger Parenting Centres opened in the first half. New store openings are, as expected, reducing UK like-for-like sales whilst improving overall profitability."

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