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Still in red Mothercare’s digital, international operations lend positivity

Mothercare reported its latest full-year results and had good news with the second half having returned to underlying profit in its core UK operations. The mother and child specialist’s focus on digital also helped position it for future growth with 41 per cent of its sales now coming online after a 7.8 per cent rise last year.

UK comparable sales rose 1.1 per cent, margin were up 54bps, 70 per cent of the store estate is now in the newly refurbished club format, 10 new website opened around the world and international total sales growth was 10.6 per cent.

CEO Mark Newton-Jones says the company is now in the third year of its turnaround. He further added following a difficult start to the year, the UK recovered in the second half, returning to underlying profit for the first time in six years. International markets showed signs of recovery with strong growth in Russia and Indonesia, and a sales recovery in China, albeit the country is yet to return to positive cash profit.

Digital revenue is currently on a growth trajectory to be over half of its turnover with 83 per cent of traffic coming from mobile. Store numbers are being reduced steadily. Newton-Jones stressed stores still count, outlining a vision that could be repeated across the retail sector as the digital revolution continues.