High Street

Mothercare swings to £87.3m loss in 2018

Mothercare has reported losses before tax of £87.3m for the year ending 30 March 2019.

UK like-for-like sales declined by 8.9% compared with the prior year, which the retailer said was “exacerbated” in the first half by reduced consumer confidence in the brand following the group’s refinancing, together with “wider market uncertainty”.

Additionally, its UK estate now comprises 79 stores, down from 134 in the prior year, representing a reduction in retail space of 30%. It also announced the sale of the Early Learning Centre to toy retailer Entertainer for £11.5m (plus £2m of contingent consideration) and the sale and leaseback of its Watford Head Office for £14.5m.

Mark Newton-Jones, CEO of Mothercare, said: “We have achieved a huge amount this year, refinancing, restructuring and reorganising Mothercare to ensure a sustainable future for the business.

“The majority of that work is now done, including the completion of our store closure programme, leaving us with 79 stores which are well positioned to support our UK customer base.”

He added: “The next phase of our strategic transformation plan is to develop Mothercare as a global brand, maximising the opportunities we see across many international markets. At the same time our primary focus in the UK will be the development of our online proposition, the introduction of enhanced credit options and more exclusivity in product, coupled with a reinforcement of our specialist and service credentials.”

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