Interim chief executive appointed at Mothercare

<p>Mothercare has announced a short-term replacement for Simon Calder.</p>

Shares in Mothercare have risen this morning (March 11th) on the back of the news that the company has announced its interim chief executive.

Stocks in the company plunged last month when it was revealed its profits have taken a hit, with chief executive Simon Calder standing down as a result of the firm's precarious position.

Mothercare has now announced that former Shop Direct and Next Directory executive Mark Newton-Jones will take over the role on an interim basis from next Monday (March 17th).

"[Mr Newton-Jones'] leadership skills and depth of experience in retailing through stores and online will further enhance our drive to deliver the recovery of the UK business to complement the strong and growing international operations," said Mothercare chairman Alan Parker.

Profit warning

The profit warning issued by Mothercare in its latest financial results earlier in the year noted that dozens of stores have been closed down as part of the retailer's restructuring operation.

Mothercare has seen its share of the mother-and-baby market slide over the course of the last few years as the firm struggled to adapt to the challenges posed by ecommerce. Shoppers turned to the internet to buy their products, rather than heading into bricks-and-mortar stores, leading to Mothercare's relevance on the high street sliding.

Following the appointment of experienced retail leader Mark Newton-Jones, the share price of Mothercare rose steadily in the early stages of trading on the London Stock Exchange this morning. By 08:22 GMT, stocks in the firm were 1.8 per cent up for the day and still rising.

Shares were up to 239.50, a rise of around five points on the firm's starting price for the day. However, the share price of the company remains some way below its 52-week recorded high of 494.75. Shares in Mothercare dropped by around a third in one day on the profit warning issued by the firm. Investors responded strongly to the appointment of Mr Newton-Jones, perhaps believing he will be able to turn the fortunes of the failing company around in the coming months.

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