Mothercare reports increase in online sales

<p>The news led to shares in the company going up.</p>

Mothercare has seen shares rise following an increase in UK sales.

The British retailer, which specialises in clothing and other products for parents and children, reported that online sales helped boost its finances.

In the UK, like-for-like sales rose 6.5 per cent in the 13 weeks to October and there was a 20.4 per cent rise in online sales.

Commenting on the second quarter results, chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said that they were in line with the company’s full-year expectations.

“The UK is continuing to benefit from our strategic initiatives both online and in store, while International has seen the expected improvement in trading,” he said.

Overall, total group sales were down 7.1 per cent. The company says this was a result of ongoing store closures, along with a fall in international sales figures.

International sales

The company’s international business faced challenging “currency headwinds” during the period, which caused global sales to fall 2.8 per cent.

In constant currencies, the company’s international sales were up 5.6 per cent. This was boosted by and end of season sale, which was delayed due to the timing of this year’s Ramadan and Eid.

Fluctuations in exchange rates also meant that in actual currencies, international sales for Mothercare dropped 5.3 per cent during the second quarter.

In addition, the international business saw 11 new store openings.

Strategy

Last year, Mr Newton-Jones announced a cost-cutting strategy in a bid to generate cash and improve products. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to cut up to 140 shopfloor managers. An additional 620 middle managers were at risk of redundancy with 120-140 jobs expected to go as new roles were created. The move was expected to save £1.3 million and help reduce Mothercare’s payroll costs.

Mothercare is also working through a refurbishment programme, which will see 20 per cent of its 173 UK stores modernised before Christmas.

During early trading on Thursday (October 22nd), Mothercare’s shares were up 3.6 per cent at 230.25 pence as a result of the update.

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