Mothercare reports first profit for five years

Baby buggies in a mothercare store Image copyright PA

Baby goods retailer Mothercare has reported its first profit for five years, helped by improved online sales and lower costs.

For the year to 26 March, Mothercare reported a pre-tax profit of £9.7m compared with a £13.1m loss a year ago.

UK like-for-like sales rose 3.6%, with online sales jumping 15% from a year earlier.

The company said nearly 40% of its UK stores had now been revamped, prompting positive feedback from customers.

Despite the improvement, Mothercare's UK business still reported an underlying loss of £6.4m compared with a deficit of £18m the previous year.

Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: "The results highlight the significant progress we are making towards returning the UK to profitability.

"The look and feel of the store estate are driving like-for-like sales growth for a second consecutive year."

Like-for-like sales at Mothercare's international business fell 4.5%, and Mr Newton-Jones said conditions there "remain challenging... with economic and currency headwinds persisting".

Mothercare is in the process of selling international stores that have performed poorly, while looking to upgrade certain overseas locations as it has done so in the UK.

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