Retailer Mothercare took further strides in its recent recovery yesterday after it revealed UK like-for-like sales lifted 2.3 per cent over the past 15 weeks.
The group described the result from its domestic market as "steady", while it said its international and direct businesses both performed well.
The figures, which cover the first quarter of the financial year, emerged two months after Mothercare completed a three-year turnaround strategy with a 56 per cent improvement in annual bottom-line profits to £24.2 million. When Mothercare started the recovery programme three years ago it made losses of £24.8 million.
Changes have included the refurbishment of UK stores, the opening of a new distribution centre and the development of its international franchise arm. Total UK sales were ahead three per cent in the 15 weeks to July 14, while the like-for-like figure when adjusted for the timing of Easter showed an estimated gain of 1.5 per cent. It added that its summer sale was going to plan with margins also in line with expectations.
International sales increased by 28.9 per cent over the 15 weeks, reflecting the timing of despatches of product to franchisees in the first quarter. The group opened 24 overseas stores in the period, taking the total to 290.
Shares were up 8.75p at 341.75.