RETAIL UPDATE: Mothercare up at half time

Retailer reveals good results for first half and Q2.
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The Mothercare and Early Learning Centre brands have put in a solid performance across all channels, the firm's chief executive said as he revealed financial results for the first half and the second quarter.

Total group sales for the 28 weeks to October 10th were up 8.2 per cent, with UK like for likes up 4.1 per cent and total UK sales up 2.6 per cent.

International retail sales for the period grew by 27.3 per cent. There are now 1,060 stores in 51 countries - 389 in the UK and 671 overseas.

Meanwhile, group performance in the second quarter (13 weeks) was also positive. Total group sales grew by seven per cent, with UK like for likes up three per cent. International retail sales were up 23.2 per cent.

Ben Gordon, chief executive, commented: "The Mothercare and Early Learning Centre brands have performed well across all channels. International continues to grow strongly with 62 new stores opened in the first half, on track to meet our target of 100 new overseas stores this year.

"We have opened our fourth store in China, where the brand is gaining increased recognition. We will also launch Mothercare in Australia and the Early Learning Centre in South Africa during the second half.

"Our multi-channel UK business recorded positive like for like sales growth for the 17th consecutive quarter. Whilst the economic environment remains uncertain, our first half performance and the strategic initiatives we have taken give us confidence for the rest of the year."


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