Mothercare’s sales failed to recover over the golden quarter, with UK sales crashing nearly 20%.

UK like-for-likes were down 11.4% while total sales crashed 18.4% as selling space decreased by the same amount in the 13 weeks to January 5. Online sales fell 16.3%.

International sales also fell but less dramatically. They decreased 1.1% in constant currencies and 3.2% in actual currencies despite a 3.8% rise in space.

On a group level, sales were down 9.8%.

Despite the numbers, chief executive Mark Newton-Jones insisted the retailer was “on course to deliver the necessary transformation”.

Mothercare is on a strategic transformation plan and is vying to deliver at least £19m annualised cost savings and is closing swathes of its store estate. It is on course to have 79 UK stores by the end of March, down from 137 in May 2018.

The business said it was making “good progress” creating a leaner organisation. Mothercare made around half of its head office employees redundant at the tail end of last year.

It added that it had completed the first outsourced product buy, which is expected to benefit margins from autumn.

Newton-Jones added: “Our international business continues to show signs of recovery, although we expect market conditions in the UK to remain challenging with further disruption until April from our store closure programme. However, given the pace of our strategic transformation plan, our full-year profit guidance is unchanged.”