Mothercare has been overlooked by investors, despite its strong growth prospects, according to Investec analyst Katharine Wynne.

She said: “Mothercare has been unfairly left behind in the recent sector rally. Although the market had been focusing on retail recovery stories, we think Mothercare, as a defensive growth story, remains attractive against a likely volatile trading background and industry margin pressure.”

Mothercare will reveal its preliminary results on May 20. Full-year international retail sales are expected to be up 40.9 per cent and like-for-likes across its 1,014-store international portfolio up 6 per cent.

In its new financial year Mothercare plans to open at least another 100 stores globally.

It is also expected that the retailer’s clothing business and Early Learning Centre operations will continue to benefit from the collapse of Woolworths.

Wynne said: “Longer term it offers a combination of multichannel and international growth, together with a strong and flexible balance sheet.”

Investec upgraded its pre-tax profit forecast for Mothercare by £0.5m to £37m.