Mothercare stocks rocket on latest results

<p>Mothercare’s share price has shot up today.</p>

The share price of troubled mother-and-baby retailer Mothercare has shot up today (April 10th) following the release of the company's latest financial results.

Stocks in the firm rocketed after it was revealed in the trading update that the company's like-for-like and direct in home sales have both improved since Q3.

Mothercare's results cover both the 12 weeks to March 29th 2014 and the last 12 months and investors responded positively to the firm's latest sales data.

Worldwide network sales were down 2.5 per cent over the first quarter of the year, but group reported sales up 0.6 per cent for the 12-week period.

Strong progress made

Mothercare chairman Alan Parker stated that it was "encouraging" to see the progress being made by the firm in the last quarter of its financial year. He pointed out that Q3 had been a difficult one for the company, but it has seen improvements in recent weeks, coinciding with the appointment of Mark Newton-Jones as interim chief executive.

"International has continued to increase space and constant currency sales growth is stronger than the previous quarter, with positive like-for-likes," said Mr Parker.

"However the pace of currency devaluation, as highlighted in January, has increased with all four regions impacted. This adverse currency impact is expected to persist into next year. Nevertheless, our franchise partners continue to see opportunity and their business plans confirm double-digit space growth."

The company's chairman also pointed out that Mothercare has continued to close loss-making stores and focus on a lean retail operation in recent weeks. The firm has also been improving as a multi-channel retailer in the last 12 months, with 29 per cent of its sales mix – up from 25 per cent in the previous year – now attributable to its Direct business.

Mothercare's share price has taken several hits in recent months, but by 09:38 BST on the London Stock Exchange, stocks were up more than 13 per cent. Those gains had been mostly maintained at 11:28 BST, when stocks were 12.29 per cent up.

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