Mothercare issues profit warning
Slow Christmas sales sees y-o-y like-for-likes fall 7.2 per cent
Mothercare has issued a profit warning following a slow Christmas period that saw like-for-like sales fall 7.2 per cent year-on-year.
Online sales also took a hit, down 6.9 per cent over the same 12 weeks to 30 December, despite the retailer saying it had been liberal with price slashing during end-of-year sales.
The nursery and pre-school retailer is now predicting pre-tax profit of £1m to £5m for the year overall, down from City predictions of around £10m – itself a slump of almost half from last year's £19.7m boom.
Mothercare CEO Mark Newton-Jones said the performance was down to an overall "softening" of the UK market "with lower footfall and website traffic resulting in lower spend in both stores and online. This trend has continued."
He added that despite damp profit margins in the UK business, the retailer remained bullish about its international growth.
"Whilst the performance of the business has been challenging in the last few months, we remain singularly focused on transforming Mothercare to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children," he said.