Jul 26, 2019

Mothercare warns of blow from ‘uncertain and volatile’ UK market

Children's goods chain Mothercare has warned on profits because of falling UK, international and online sales, but insisted it has the full support of its lending banks. The group, which was once the go-to shop chain for parents of young children but has come under intense pressure from online retailers including Amazon, said same-store sales in the UK had fallen 3.2 per cent in the 15 weeks to July 13, compared to the same period last year. Mothercare's total UK sales fell by 23 per cent, although this top-line revenue figure was affected by the fact the group has closed a significant proportion of its UK stores. Online sales in the UK fell by 12.1 per cent while international sales fell by 4.5 per cent. Its full-year underlying profits would now be the same as achieved last year, Mothercare said, because "The need for continued promotional activity" meant "Gross margin improvements in the UK are expected to take longer to materialise than previously anticipated."

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