Mothercare shares collapse after profit warning

<p>Mothercare’s shares have collapsed this morning.</p>

The share price of Mothercare has had a dramatic fall this morning (January 8th) after the company issued a profits warning.

Its stocks lost almost a third of their value on the back of the firm saying like-for-like sales fell by 4.4 per cent in the UK in the 12 weeks to January 4th.

Mothercare claimed that discounting was among the reasons why its sales were down in the period including Christmas, while poor trading in international markets was cited as a factor.

Simon Calver, the chief executive of Mothercare, said in a statement released today that his company has experienced many of the same pressures as other firms in the last quarter.

He said: "Customer service scores continue to improve year on year but weaker footfall and higher promotional activity led to lower sales and margins. As a result of lower UK sales and margins and the international currency impact, full year profits are likely to be below the current range of market expectations."

Following the comments made by the chief executive, the share price of Mothercare collapsed in the early stages of trading on the London Stock Exchange this morning. By 08:32 GMT its stocks were over 30 per cent down for the day and were still falling by even more.

Group sales

Total group sales fell 6.1 per cent at the company over the course of the 14-week period, with the firm noting that the international trading was hit by currency devaluation.

Stocks in the company had fallen to 289.50 this morning, almost half that of the firm's 52-week high of 494.75.

Mothercare is the latest high profile to have announced trading figures for the Christmas period in the UK, with John Lewis, Next and Debenhams among those to have already revealed their sales figures for the festive time of year.

Online sales appear to have been a particularly strong area of growth for a lot of companies in the last year, with John Lewis among those to have hailed a large rise in sales via the internet.

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