Small steps, but in the right direction for babywear retailer
Mothercare's UK like-for-like sales in the 52 weeks to March 26 this year rose 1.3 per cent. However, total UK store sales hardly moved, increasing by just 0.8 per cent. The babywear retailer experienced steady post Christmas trading, with total UK store sales increasing 1.6 per cent and like-for-like sales by 1.1 per cent in the 11 weeks to March 26. International sales rose 17. 5 per cent in the full year to March 26.

The retailer said it had opened a further 30 stores in the year, bringing the total to 220 stores worldwide. Construction of the new national distribution centre is still under way, with transfer of the first stage of logistics operations on track for June. Associated costs will mean an exceptional charge of£6.5 million. Mothercare also said it had made a special contribution of£10 million to its company pension schemes.

The retailer said the results for the 52 weeks to March 26 should be in line with market expectations.

Mothercare chief executive Ben Gordon (pictured) said: 'The performance of the UK business has been resilient in the tougher trading environment. We are continuing to work hard on turning the business round and developing the Mothercare brand for the future. We are also encouraged by the growth of our international business.'