Mothercare sales beat expectations

The retailer has today reported its fifteenth consecutive quarter of sales growth.
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In today's results, the firm has reported results for the fourth quarter and the full year ending March 28th 2009.

In the fourth quarter, total group sales were up 5.6 per cent and UK like-for-like sales up 3.7 per cent; total UK sales up 1.3 per cent.

Direct in Home sales rose by 26.7 per cent and International retail sales were up by 40 per cent.

For the full year, total group sales rose by 6.9 per cent (up 2.8 per cent on a proforma basis). UK like-for-like sales are up by 1.4 per cent and total UK sales rose by 2.4 per cent. This figure was down 1.5 per cent on a proforma basis due to planned reduction in space.

Direct in Home sales for the year were up 30.6 per cent (up 22.4 per cent on a proforma basis.) International retail sales leapt 44.5 per cent (up 40.9% on a proforma basis).

International like-for-like sales rose by six per cent for the full year and four per cent in the second half.

UK gross margin is in line with the firm’s expectations. For 2009/10, Mothercare expects gross margins to come under further pressure due to the weakness of the pound, but expects this to be partly offset by currency gains in International sales.

Ben Gordon, chief executive said: "This is another strong performance from the Mothercare group. International goes from strength to strength, with retail sales up 40 per cent. We now have 1,014 stores in 51 countries worldwide.

"The UK business has now delivered 15 consecutive quarters of like-for-like sales growth. UK sales have been boosted by robust performances from the Direct business and the Early Learning Centre inserts now in 84 Mothercare stores, and both brands have gained market share in the quarter. We continue to manage the business tightly to mitigate the effect of currency movements. The group remains debt free."

Please note - On June 19th 2007, Mothercare acquired the Early Learning Centre. For ease of analysis, certain results are also presented on a proforma basis which assumes that the Early Learning Centre had been owned for all of this year and last year.


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