Like-for-like sales at the retailer’s 170 UK stores rose for the eighth consecutive quarter in a row.
The retailer is in the middle of a turnaround programme, kicked off by its chief executive Mark Newton-Jones, that doubled overall half-year profits in January and halved its UK losses.
He said: “In the UK, we have delivered our eighth consecutive quarter of positive like-for-like sales growth, with a full year of improved margins. Almost 40% of space is now in the new and much-improved format which, along with a revamped online offer, improved product and service, are being well received by our customers. In the year ahead, we expect to make further progress in the UK. However, our international markets are likely to remain challenging with the current trends in space, sales and currency continuing into the new financial year.”
Online sales increased by 5.6% and now account for more than a third of the company’s UK sales. Total UK sales were up by 0.8%.
Fewer shoppers visited Mothercare’s international outlets, particularly in China and the Middle East. However, the company said it still expects to hit a full-year profit target.
Sales were down by 9.7% measured at constant currencies and dropped by 10.8% in actual currencies.
In the Middle East, customers spent less because of the slump in oil prices, while China recorded weaker consumer confidence amid the country’s economic slowdown. Europe and Latin America were affected by adverse currency moves.