Mothercare has halved its statutory loss before tax from £26.3m to £13.1m as it makes “good progress” with its turnaround.  

  • Underlying pre-tax profits up 37% to £13m
  • Total group sales slip 1.5% to £713.9m
  • UK like-for-like sales up 2%
  • UK operating losses narrow to £18m
  • 31 loss-making UK stores closed in the year

The retailer, whose new CEO Mark Newton-Jones launched a turnaround plan last year, also revealed that underlying pre-tax profits jumped 37% to £13m in the year to the end of March.

However, total group sales slipped 1.5% to £713.9m as the retailer closed 31 loss making UK stores as part of its turnaround strategy.

UK like-for-likes were up 2%, while operating losses in the country were narrowed to £18m from £21.5m in the prior year.

International like-for-likes were up 5.6%.

Online sales jumped 18%, and now account for 30% of total UK sales. Mothercrae said over a third of online orders are collected in store and 82% of web traffic is generated from mobile.

Newton-Jones said it had been an “extremely busy year” for the business, having completed a refinancing deal and moved to implement a new strategy. Newton-Jones said the firm is making “good progress”, but added: “There is still much to do and trading conditions may remain challenging.”

Mothercare’s six point plan:

  • Become a digitally led business
  • Create a modern retail estate
  • Offer style, quality and innovation in product and great service
  • Stabilise and recapture gross margin – the retailer said its margins have stabilised after five years of decline and said it is moving back to being a full price retailer with shorter discount periods and better planned promotions
  • Running a lean organisation while investing for the future
  • Expanding further internationally. The retailer opened 52 stores overseas in the year, bringing its store count to 1,273