Mothercare returns to sales growth

Mothercare (MTC) returned to sales growth in its third-quarter in the UK, which was supported by a rise in online orders.

UK like-for-like sales were 1% higher in the 13 weeks to 7 January, which benefitted from online sales growth of 5.5%.

Online sales represented approximately 40% of UK sales and total UK sales climbed 0.6%.

Management said its margin remained within guidance for the full year.

International retail sales fell 6% in constant currency, but rose 13% in actual currency, reflecting the ongoing currency tailwinds.

Mixed performance continued in Mothercare's international division with China and Russia returning to growth, while the Middle East remained challenging.

Mothercare opened 40 stores and closed 28, ending the quarter with 1,351 stores and 3.1m square feet of retail space.