Mothercare like-for-like sales surged 5% in December following extra promotions.

Over the wider 13 week period to January 5 like-for-likes dipped 3%.

Total UK sales fell 6.9% over its third quarter mainly down to its planned store closures. Its online sales slipped 2.2%.

The retailer’s international retail sales continued to soar rising 15%.

Total group sales were down 1.2%, but worldwide network sales, including those of its franchise partners, edged up 3%.

Mothercare executive chairman Alan Parker said both its search for a new chief executive, following Ben Gordon’s exit last October, and the operational review , which he kickstarted in November after it plunged into the red, were progressing well.

He said: “The UK review, which is on plan to complete in the current quarter, has already highlighted key actions to improve the business for the future.”

Mothercare opened its 1000th store outside the UK over the period and opened in four new countries: Chile, Colombia, Iraq and Morocco.

For its year-to-date UK like-for-likes are down 5.5%, but total group sales are up 2% driven by its strong international performance.