Mamas & Papas aiming to nurse growth in China

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THE Yorkshire-based nursery products firm which counts Gwen Stefani and Sarah Jessica Parker among its celebrity fans is predicting sales growth over the next financial year as it targets the Chinese market.

Mamas & Papas confirmed yesterday that it will be opening a store in Beijing in April. Tim Maule, the deputy chief executive at Mamas & Papas, said he was “very pleased” with the group’s results and looking forward to establishing a store in the new Trinity Leeds development, which is due to open in March.

Huddersfield-based Mamas & Papas yesterday revealed that, in the year ended April 1, 2012, it achieved a group turnover of £134.7m, compared with £135.1m the year before.

The group’s overseas turnover was £26.6m, a significant increase on the £21.8m it achieved the year before.

The group traded in 36 overseas markets in the period to April 1, 2012.

The group EBITDA (earnings before interest taxation, depreciation and amortisation) profit was £4.4m, compared with £5.4m in the previous year.

The loss after tax amounted to £1.09m, an improvement on the £1.2m loss the year before.

Mr Maule said yesterday: “We are continuing to invest in our overseas development. People do come to Mamas & Papas expecting quality – they are very pleased with the value for money as well. We believe it’s a winning formula.

“If we offer great product and great services, then we believe customers will keep coming back to us.”

In a statement to accompany the accounts, Mamas & Papas said it had exceeded its cash generation targets, with a reduction in group debt of £10.7m.

Mamas & Papas was launched in 1981 by Luisa and David Scacchetti, and is still a family business.

The couple were unimpressed with the drab nursery products of the time, so they decided to establish their own brand.

The company designs and develops products for the nursery market, including prams, car seats, nursery furniture, toys and clothes.

The company employs around 1,700 staff, including 500 staff at its headquarters in Huddersfield.