UK festive sales boost Mothercare

Mothercare said the UK returned to growth following the challenging summer trading period.

Mothercare said the UK returned to growth following the challenging summer trading period.

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​Retailer Mothercare has returned to UK sales growth over Christmas, but said its performance in international markets remains "mixed".

The babycare chain posted a 1​ per cent​ rise in like-for-like sales over the 13 weeks to January 7 as it was boosted by a strong online performance.

Online sales grew 5.5​ per cent​ over the festive period and account for around 40​ per cent​ of UK trade.

The UK turnaround comes after a 2.5​ per cent​ sales tumble in its second quarter, when sales were knocked by poor weather and a warehouse overhaul.

Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: "The UK returned to growth following the challenging summer trading period.

"We maintained our focus on product improvement and full price sales while prudent stock management allowed us to enter the end-of-season sale after peak trading with less stock than last year."

The weak pound offset tougher trading overseas, helping international sales surge 13.2​ per cent​.

With the currency boost stripped out, international sales fell 5.9​ per cent​.

Mr Newton-Jones said: "International continues to benefit from currency tailwinds, however underlying performance continues to be mixed in spite of many markets returning to growth."

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