Mothercare sales slide but claims transformation is making progress

Mothercare has reported a decline in sales for the 12 weeks to March 20 2019. During its fourth quarter, UK like-for-like sales slipped 8.8%, but this was an improvement on the prior two quarters of sales decline. International sales also dipped 4.9%, while overall group sales declined 13.9%.

The retailer said it was on track to deliver £19 million of annualised cost savings as part of its strategic plan.

Its UK store closure plan is now complete after 40 stores shuttered in the last three months, bringing its total estate to 80, resulting in a reduction in space of 30%. And last month, the retailer also announced the sale of the Early Learning Centre to The Entertainer for £13.5 million.

CEO of Mothercare, Mark Newton-Jones, said the company has continued to make “significant progress” with it “strategic transformation to deliver a sustainable and profitable future for Mothercare”.

“The disruption we have seen from both the organisational changes and the UK store closures is now largely behind us. We expect a continued impact on our business given the volume of clearance stock we have sold in recent months. Against this background, we remain on track to deliver on our full year expectations,” said Newton-Jones.

“Looking ahead, we expect market conditions in the UK and in some international markets to remain challenging. We enter the new financial year in a more robust position as a restructured business fit for the future and with reduced levels of debt. We have a significantly smaller UK store estate and our international operations remain cash generative. We look forward to the new financial year and to delivering the next phase of our strategic transformation plan."