'Underlying group profits are up on last year, but there is a lot more to do,' admits Mothercare

Retailer reveals preliminary results for 52-week period to March 29th, 2014.
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Mothercare has this morning announced its full year results for the 52-week period ending March 29th, 2014 - with worldwide network sales up 0.5 per cent to £1,191.5 million, total international sales up 6.4 per cent and total UK sales down 7.5 per cent as further loss making stores were closed.

International like for like sales were up 2.5 per cent, while UK like for like sales were down 1.9 per cent, on an improving trend after a 3.6 per cent decline last year.

Underlying profit before tax stood at £9.5 million compared to £5.9 million last year. Underlying international profits were up 7.6 per cent to £45.3 million and underlying UK losses were slightly lower at £21.5 million.

Group loss (before tax and after exceptional and non underlying items) was £26.3 million.

The reshaping of the UK business continued through the year, with the closure of an additional 35 loss making stores and refits in some key stores.

Multi-channel growth saw UK Direct sales now at 29 per cent of total UK sales and a third of online orders were collected in store. In the UK, mobile now accounts for 35 per cent of UK online traffic.

"After an encouraging set of interim results, Q3 trading over peak was a disappointment," said Alan Parker, chairman of Mothercare. "We saw a recovery in the Q4 trading performance and have delivered full year results in line with market expectations set in January 2014.

"This momentum has been maintained into this quarter, and we look forward to sustaining this improvement in the new financial year.

"In the UK, we have continued to close loss making stores and operate a leaner business.

"Underlying group profits are up on last year, but there is a lot more to do. The CEO search is progressing well. We are determined to achieve our goal of returning the UK to profitability, growing our international business and building shareholder value over the long-term."

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