Mothercare slips to loss as UK sales fall

Pushchairs at a Mothercare store Image copyright Press Association

Baby goods retailer Mothercare has reported a half-year loss, blaming unseasonal weather and warehouse changes for the figures.

It reported a loss of £800,000 for the six months to 8 October, compared with a £5.8m profit last year.

"The last six months have been challenging," the company said.

Mothercare is in the midst of a turnaround plan that has seen it close loss-making branches and relocate many High Street shops out of town.

It closed six stores in the first half and has now refurbished three-fifths of its shops in a "new modern format".

'Well prepared'

Mothercare said that unseasonal weather during spring and summer led to bigger price cuts in order to shift stock.

In addition, changes to its warehouse arrangements disrupted the flow of products for sale for eight weeks during the summer.

Mothercare's overseas arm performed better with profits climbing 4.1% to £20.8m, although international like-for-like sales fell 2.9%.

"While sales are still volatile across the globe, many of our markets have now returned to growth," said Mothercare chief executive Mark Newton-Jones.

He added: "The second half has started in line with our plans and the business is well prepared for the important peak season."

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