Mothercare steps up overseas expansion

Mothercare is accelerating its expansion overseas, particularly in India, and has raised its profitability target for international stores.

The firm, which is taking analysts on a tour of its operations in India, said it expected total overseas network sales to double to £1bn by 2014.

It will open 175 overseas stores in its 2010-11 financial year, up from previous guidance of 150, and 150 a year from 2011-12 onwards, up from a previous target of 100.

That will increase overseas selling space by about 15-20 per cent a year.

Mothercare, which has been battling a tough consumer backdrop in Britain, said it would have 70 stores in India by March, and would increase that to at least 200 by March 2015.

It is also targeting a 20-30 basis point increase in international profit margins per year, up from its previous goal of 10-20 basis points.