Sales soar for Mothercare

Mothercare announces its international results for the first half ended October 11th 2008.
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The group’s sales have risen by 9.3 per cent to £359 million compared to £328.5 million in the same period last year.

Profit pre-tax is up by 124.6 per cent to £13.7 million or 11.5p per share, compared to £6.1 million, or 5.5p per share, year-on-year.

The results signal the best ever half for International sales and the company has reported its International franchisee retail sales are up by 36.6 per cent and International profit has risen by 59.1 per cent to £7 million.

Over the period, 78 new stores have opened, bringing the total to 572 in 49 countries, with ten more stores in China announced today.

The firm also reported that the Early Learning Centre integration is on track to deliver at least £10 million benefits in 2009/10.

The UK property portfolio restructure is also on track to deliver £5 million benefits in 2009/10.

Mothercare has attributed some of the sales growth to a rapid growth in Direct sales with Direct in Home sales up 28.7 per cent to £27.8 million and Direct in Store sales up 21.5 per cent to £22.6 million.

Ben Gordon, chief executive, said:

"We are pleased to announce strong first half results for the Mothercare group. Our International business has delivered its best ever half and, despite a challenging market, we have grown like-for-like sales in the UK, with Direct performing particularly well.

"The Mothercare group has undergone a transformation in recent years and we now have 983 stores operating in 50 countries. Growth will continue to be driven by our successful International business, the synergy benefits from the acquisition of the Early Learning Centre, the reshaping of our UK property portfolio and strong momentum in our Direct operations.

“With our rapidly growing International platform, a reducing UK cost base and a cash generative and debt free business, we are well placed for what is an uncertain consumer environment in the second half."

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