Business

Mothercare sees weak UK demand offset by Ramadan

UK sales at Mothercare fell following the poor weather Image copyright PA

Mothercare's sales have been rescued from Britain's wet weather by Ramadan, which helped boost the retailer's international revenue by 3.9%.

The baby products chain was forced to bring forward its end-of-season UK sale to clear stock following wet weather in the three months to 9 July.

In the Middle East, the earlier timing of Ramadan "materially" lifted demand.

However, Mothercare warned of "continued volatility" in its overseas business in the first half of the year.

UK like-for-like sales rose 1.2%, but this was slower than the growth seen in previous quarters. Factoring in the reduction of its UK retail space, total sales fell 2.1%.

Group sales across the whole of Mothercare, covering both its UK and international business, fell 1.7%.

On the UK's vote to leave the EU, chief executive Mark Newton-Jones, said: "We have not seen any immediate consumer reaction to the Brexit vote, but it is too early to call as we went into the end-of-season sale early."

Zoe Mills, an analyst at Verdict Retail, said in spite of the company's "impressive" international growth, Mothercare "must remain cautious in light of the UK's decision to leave the EU, with this development likely to impact trading globally".

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