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High Street

Mothercare reports drop in Q4 like-for-like sales

Embattled retailer Mothercare has revealed its UK like-for-like sales declined by 2.8% in the group’s Q4 results.

However, online sales grew by 2.1%, with website sales growing by 7.2%. Online sales within the period represented 49% of UK sales, bringing the fiscal year to 43%. International retail sales were 3.7% lower in constant currency (-11.0% in actual). Online sales saw a growth of 3.4% in constant currency (-2.6% in actual).

Mothercare is reportedly considering the possibility of closing a third of its stores and reducing its rents through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

According to reports, Mothercare would look to close around 47 of its 143 stores if a CVA is agreed with lenders.

Mothercare would join a host of high street retailers who are looking to reduce costs by entering a CVA with New Look and Select having already agreed with lenders and Carpetright also considering the process.

David Wood, CEO of Mothercare, said:  “Our overall group performance for FY18 was in line with previous guidance for both adjusted group profit and net debt. My immediate priority is to ensure Mothercare is put back on a sound financial footing and to improve its financial performance.

“We continue to make good progress in reducing the size of our UK store estate in response to changing consumer preferences and in reducing our central cost base, but our central focus must be customers and their experience, securing Mothercare’s reputation as the number one specialist for parents.”

He added: “We remain in constructive dialogue with our financing partners with respect to our financing needs for FY19 and beyond, and we continue to explore additional sources of financing to support and maintain the momentum of our transformation programme. All of these discussions are ongoing and further updates will be given as appropriate.”

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