Mothercare hamstrung by weak UK sales

    Mothercare hamstrung by weak UK sales

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    Mother and baby products firm posted weak quarterly sales at it main British market, taking the shine off stellar sales growth overseas.

    The firm, which has issued two profit warnings this year and in May detailed plans to close over a quarter of its British stores, said on Thursday that sales at UK stores open over a year fell 4.3 per cent in the 15 weeks to July 9, its fiscal first quarter.

    That compares with a fourth quarter fall of 2.4 per cent.

    “In the UK the trading environment remains difficult and competitive, however our property restructure and cost reduction programme are progressing well,” the company said in a statement.

    The UK outcome was partially offset by international sales growth of 15.2 per cent, led by Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific.

    Mothercare plans to shrink its UK in-town estate as it focuses more on faster growing markets, like China, India, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America, where it can benefit from higher birth rates and a burgeoning middle class.

    Source : Reuters