MOTHERCARE shares jumped almost 17 per cent yesterday after the struggling baby products retailer posted slightly better than expected full-year profits.
The company reported underlying profits before tax of £9.5m in the year to 29 March compared with £5.9m the previous year. However, this is still dramatically lower than the £17m that was previously forecast before the firm issued a profit warning in January.
UK sales fell 7.5 per cent to £462.3m, which the retailer blamed on closing 35 loss-making shops, while losses narrowed to £21.5m, from £21.6m the previous year.
Mothercare was hit hard by the cut-throat discounting among its rivals at Christmas. But finance chief Matt Smith said sales had recovered since and that its turnaround strategy was on track.
The group said it was making progress on its search for a new chief executive after Simon Calver’s exit earlier this year.