Mothercare said that UK like-for-like sales in its third quarter to January 8 grew 4.2% after a strong Christmas.

Total group sales for the period grew 4.6% for the mother and baby specialist with international retail sales up 9.3%.

Mothercare chief executive Ben Gordon said: “The Mothercare group has performed well across all channels in the third quarter. Our multi-channel UK business enjoyed a particularly good Christmas, recording positive like-for-like sales growth for the 18th consecutive quarter with strong contributions from  the Early Learning Centre and Direct. Our new property strategy is on track with seven new Parenting Centres opened so far this year”.

In its financial year to date (March 29 to January 8) total group sales grew 6.6% with like-for-like sales in the UK ahead 4.1%. International retail sales grew 20.4%. Mothercare now has 717 international stores in 51 countries with 394 stores in the UK.  

Gordon said: “International continues to have a record year, successfully building on retail sales growth of 49.1% in the third quarter last year. In October we announced a new joint venture to accelerate our expansion in India and we have already opened our first two joint venture stores which are trading well.

“We now have 28 stores in India and plan to increase this to 65 stores by the end of next year. In Russia, we opened our 50th store during December. In total, we have opened 108 stores outside the UK so far this year and are on track to meet our full year target of at least 115 new stores.”