Mothercare gets a helping hand from online sales growth as group sales drop

 
Helen Cahill
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Mothercare: Baby K - Photocall
The group has also been refurbishing stores (Source: Getty)

Mothercare's share price has climbed today as it boasted growth in its online sales, but overall group sales fell for the quarter.

The figures

The baby retailer's UK like-for-like sales increased 4.5 per cent for the 11 weeks to 25 March, with online sales up by 13.6 per cent as compared to the same period last year.

However, total group sales fell 12.2 per cent, in part due to currency movements impacting international sales. At constant currency, international sales were down 1.7 per cent for the quarter, and 2.4 per cent for the year to date.

At time of writing, Mothercare's share price was up 3.3 per cent.

Why it's interesting

The group's online sales now make up around 41 per cent of its business, but Mothercare has also been trying to give shoppers a pleasant experience in-store. It has been refurbishing its shops, and around 70 per cent of them are now open under the new format.

Read more: Mothercare prepares for talks with investors over directors' pay

The business has also been expanding overseas, opening 116 outlets internationally over the year. Taking into account store closures, Mothercare has net new stores of 28 abroad.

What Mothercare said

Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive of Mothercare, said: "Following a solid final quarter, our overall group performance remains broadly in line with market expectations for the year.

"We have made further progress in the period, with the UK performing particularly well on a like-for-like basis. Customers' response to our spring/summer ranges has been positive."

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