Mothercare: We're making solid progress

UK sales fall but international grows; 31 stores were opened abroad during Q3.
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Mothercare says it's "making solid progress" and is on-track with its three-year transformation plan.

The retailer reported a 5.9 per cent like-for-like sales drop in the UK during its fiscal Q3 period (the 13 weeks ending January 12th, 2013), taking into account store closures. Total sales fell 12.9 per cent.

A further 11 UK stores - eight Early Learning Centre and three Mothercare - were closed during the quarter. This means the UK business now operates from 269 stores, compared to 311 stores at the beginning of its current financial year.

However, international retail sales rose 12 per cent during the period, after the business opened a net 31 stores during the quarter.

Mothercare now operates from 1,129 stores across 61 countries.

Direct in Home e-commerce sales increased 0.9 per cent.

A statement read: "Our continued progress with improving value, choice and service for our customers is evident in better prices, new and innovative product and better staff engagement with customers. 

"Our three-year Transformation and Growth plan remains on track. We are working towards transforming the UK while growing International profits."

Simon Calver, Chief Executive of Mothercare plc, said: "We have made solid progress during Q3, despite a challenging consumer backdrop for the UK and Eurozone. 

"The transition to our new online platform has passed the test of peak trading with Direct in Home growing at double-digit rates during December. Our work towards delivering improved value, choice and service for our customers continues to make an impact and I am very encouraged by the new ranges and innovative product ready to go into stores for spring/summer 2013." 

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