Mothercare narrows losses

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Baby products retailer Mothercare said it trimmed half-year losses today after its new “value” range proved a hit with customers.

The group, which has 280 shops in the UK, saw underlying pre-tax losses fall to £600,000 from £4.4m a year earlier as it returned to sales growth in the second quarter for the first time in two and a half years.

Sales of its lower priced clothes were so popular that that Mothercare had to order more stock.

Chief executive Simon Calver joined the group earlier this year to lead a turnaround of the loss making business, which will see store numbers reduced from 311 to 200 by 2015.

He said consumer confidence in the UK remained weak ahead of its peak Christmas period and confirmed the group would continue with its store closure and cost cutting programme.

In the half year to October 13, the group closed 31 shops, including eight Mothercare shops and 25 Early Learning Centres.