Mothercare q4 sales decline, shares fall

Store front of the Mothercare shop in Kempshott Park Basingstoke

Mothercare reported its results for the final quarter of the year, causing shares to fall during Thursday morning trading.

The retailer reported a 8.8% decline in UK like-for-like sales, with total sales down a further 14.5%.

Nevertheless, this proved an improvement from the previous quarters, with declines lessening.

Meanwhile, international retail sales fell 4.9% in constant currency, and down 4.5% in actual currency terms.

Despite continually falling sales, Mothercare said that its guidance for the year remains in line with previous guidance.

Earlier this year, the company announced it was offloading its Early Learning Centre brand for £13.5 million. 

As a result of the sale and other cost-cutting measures, Mothercare said it was on track to deliver £19 million in savings.

Mark Newton-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Mothercare, said:

“We have continued to make significant progress in our final quarter as we continue our strategic transformation to deliver a sustainable and profitable future for Mothercare.”

He added that the company’s store closure programme was completed ahead of schedule, with 80 stores open compared to 137 a year ago.

Addressing the year ahead, he commented on the trading climate in the UK and how this would impact its progression.

He continued:

“Looking ahead, we expect market conditions in the UK and in some international markets to remain challenging. We enter the new financial year in a more robust position as a restructured business fit for the future and with reduced levels of debt. We have a significantly smaller UK store estate and our International operations remain cash generative. We look forward to the new financial year and to delivering the next phase of our strategic transformation plan.”

Shares in Mothercare (LON:MTC) are currently trading -7.38% as of 12:05PM (GMT).