Mothercare sales slump on bleak UK

MOTHERCARE posted weak quarterly sales in its main British market, taking the shine off stellar sales growth overseas.

The firm, which has issued two profit warnings this year and in May detailed plans to close over a quarter of its British stores, said yesterday that sales at UK stores open over a year fell 4.3 per cent in the 15 weeks to 9 July, its fiscal first quarter.

That compares with a fourth quarter fall of 2.4 per cent.

“In the UK the trading environment remains difficult and competitive, however our cost reduction programme is progressing well,” the company said.

The UK outcome was partially offset by international sales growth of 15.2 per cent, led by Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific.